Analysis; "tying together threads"

Filtering for readers requires analytical skills that also help reporters and editors add value to news stories. In writing their stories, reporters sort through raw information and present it in a form that shows why the information is important. A newspaper editor said that the value of this service has not changed in recent years: "Readers still want someone to tie together the threads, look at larger issues that are raised by campaigns and probe beneath the surface." 1

One way these threads are tied together is by putting the information in context, providing background material to explain what is being reported. "There is no point to a story that has no context," said the same newspaper editor. "You must tell readers 'what this means to me.'" 2

The television reporter added specific questions that he must answer for viewers: "Wasn't this agency in trouble a month ago for failing to oversee how a non-profit spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayers' dollars. Why did it happen again? Who was responsible the last time and was he/she responsible this time?" 3