November 29, 2021
types of journalism

The 9 Types of Journalism Explained

If you say you are a doctor, the next question is usually, “Well, what kind of doctor are you?”

The same applies to journalism. Being a journalist is a broad statement, especially when there are nine different types of journalism in America.

With so many subdivisions of journalism, it is a good thing about 32,900 full-time journalists are working hard across the nation.

Do you know all of the different types of journalistic categories? Let’s explore.

1. Investigative Journalism

As the name suggests, investigative journalism requires a professional to do some detective work to get to the bottom of a story. An investigative matter may be deliberately concealed, such as to protect a person in power. Or a subject could be surrounded by chaos, making it tedious to get to the bottom of what occurred.

Investigative journalism may include anonymous or open sources. It is a critical and in-depth sector of journalism.

Investigative Journalism in Action

One of the most noteworthy investigative pieces published by US media is Upton Sinclair’s novel, The Jungle. Sinclair detailed the horrific and exploitative conditions in Chicago’s meatpacking plants.

2. Watchdog Journalism

Watchdog journalism refers to journalists gathering facts and using the information to expose the wrongdoings of people in power.

Watchdog journalism is a key component of a democratic society.

The journalists promote change and hold leaders accountable for their actions. Articles, documentaries, and radio shows shine a light on poor behavior to invoke positive change.

Watchdog Journalism in Action

The most notable example of watchdog journalism in US history is Watergate, which was spearheaded by The Washington Post.

The journalists uncovered the lies, bribes, and other criminal acts that occurred. The reporting was directly responsible for President Nixon’s resignation and the convictions of several other congress members.

3. Online (Digital) Journalism

Online journalism, sometimes referred to as digital journalism, reports news through digital media. Reports can come in the form of blogs, digital newspapers, and social media. Most online journalism is free to view, although its credibility may vary.

The biggest benefit of online journalism is its speed.

Reporters can gather facts and share them immediately. Journalists can get information distributed to the public in a matter of hours as opposed to waiting to convey the details in the morning paper.

Online Journalism in Action

In the digital era we live in today, online journalism is all around us.

Major news outlets like ABC News use their websites to deliver updated news to their audience. Reporters also take to mediums like Twitter to brief followers on developing stories.

4. Opinion Journalism

The average journalistic story should be unbiased. But this standard does not apply to opinion journalism, where a reporter may creature a feature with a subjective viewpoint.

Opinion journalism allows the producer to create a personalized piece. It can contain first-person statements (such as “I believe”), sarcasm, and exaggeration.

Opinion Journalism in Action

Opinion pieces include:

  • Editorials
  • Op-ed contributions
  • Cartoons
  • Political commentary
  • Newspaper columns
  • Analysis pieces

Some big-name opinion journalists include Mollie Hemingway, who contributes to The Federalist, and Michael Goodwin, who runs a column in The New York Post.

5. Broadcast Journalism

Instead of printing the news, broadcast journalists report via television, digital videos, and radio. Broadcast journalism can be prerecorded or presented live.

Broadcast journalists include news anchors, producers, correspondents, audio technicians, and more.

Broadcast Journalism in Action

Years ago, people would turn on their television for the nightly five o’clock news, which is an example of broadcast journalism.

Today, many broadcast journalists stream live videos so viewers can tune in from their computers or phones at any time.

6. Sports Journalism

Sports journalism is a specific segment that only covers sport-related news. It includes live sporting events, recaps, and stories about professional athletes.

Sports journalism dates back to the 1800s. As the popularity of athletic competitions increased, journalists starting covering the events in newspaper columns.

A sports journalist knows more than the average person about one or multiple sports. They can provide detailed insights and analyze sports-related data.

Sports Journalism in Action

Most news networks feature sports journalism, whether it be a brief segment during a broadcast or a column on their website.

The most popular example of sports journalism is ESPN. The news outlet covers all American sports. They publish online pieces, highlight reels, and athlete interviews.

7. Trade (Business) Journalism

Trade journalism covers developments in the business world. These articles can be technical, analytical, or industry-specific.

Publications by trade journalists often focus on commodities, like oil and gas. Or, they may report on specific sectors, like the finance industry.

Trade Journalism in Action

Trade journalism is any piece that is specific to one industry or field.

A prime example is The Wall Street Journal, which is a news outlet devoted to covering finance and business-related topics. Another example is Accounting Today, a publication that focuses on accounting news.

8. Entertainment Journalism

Entertainment journalism produces news related to pop culture and current trends. It may focus on:

  • Celebrities and musicians
  • Popular products
  • Upcoming releases (albums, movies, video games, etc.)
  • Premiers and award shows
  • Lifestyle topics

While trade journalism focuses on educating viewers, entertainment journalism emphasizes entertaining its audience.

Entertainment Journalism in Action

Entertainment Tonight is the most well-known entertainment news source in America. The news outlet covers everything from interviewing celebrities on the red carpet to reality show recaps.

Other well-known entertainment news sources include The Daily Mail and TMZ.

9. Political Journalism

Political journalists cover news related to politics, politicians, and political science.

Political journalism is a key part of a democratic society. It aims to publish unbiased reports on government officials, policy changes, and supreme court cases.

The goal of political journalism is to keep voters informed. Political journalists are experts in political science and strive to provide factual and honest information.

Political Journalism in Action

Political journalism can be found on the radio, television screen, and radio.

In 2019, 16% of Americans tuned into Fox News for political updates, while 12% relied on CNN. Other political news sources include MSNBC and NPR.

The Types of Journalism & More

All Americans should familiarize themselves with the various types of journalism recognized in this nation. From entertainment news to trade journalism, there are always new developments being covered.

Are you looking to learn more about journalism and its related topics? You are in the right place.

Continue browsing our blog for more informational and expert-written articles.