journalistic reporting success

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Journalism is a pious practice that disseminates and propagates truthful knowledge that is founded on reality and honesty that is free of prejudice. Journalistic writing certifies the clarity and legitimacy of facts provided through a thorough and repeated examination of references and data to prove a case without jeopardizing the meaning of truth. In a nutshell, it is the method of producing and disseminating reports (research) focused on how individuals function and communicate in a given situation in a society. It makes news because it is associated with new information that in some way affects the people of the society and that affects the society in one way or the other. Journalistic writing, including through other forms of media like documentaries, offers a better understanding of certain issues which shatter the very existence of humankind. A journalistic product is disseminated through diverse media including print, television, radio, and the internet. In past, the media also included newsreels. One of the important elements of journalism reporting is writing. After a comprehensive research and creatively written following certain hard-line rules, a reporter presents it in the form of news to the audience. Journalism is an artistic expression of events and incidents popularly known as journalistic reporting. This essay intends to have an in-depth look at two masterpieces of journalistic fervor viz. ‘Hiroshima, reportage by John Hersey and ‘Grave of the Fireflies’, a film written and directed by Isao Takahata. Both the two pieces represent decent examples of two different forms of journalistic reporting that are globally acclaimed for their demonstration and impact. Such kinds of work offer freedom and bestow success in painting the picture of those who are powerless and voiceless, who are under consistent physical and psychological oppression, and who desperately need global recognition and attention.

First of all, Hiroshima and Grave of the Fireflies represent remarkable stories that paint a real picture of the pain and agony of six survivors of atomic bombings of Hiroshima.The words and images tell the horrific story of the aftermath of Japan’s Hiroshima and Nagasaki episode – the two cities were Atomic bombed by the United States in the World War-II (Barker, 1985). Central to both the artifacts are the people who survived the bomb. Hiroshima deals with half-a-dozen people including two women, two doctors, and two religious men who survived the very hell that killed thousands of people and gravely injuring much more due to the bombing dropped by America and the Grave of the Fireflies portrays the storey of two siblings, Setsuko – a girl and Seita – a boy, who are dead and whose spirits along with a cloud of fireflies’ recounts and narrates their dreadful events through which they went (Takahata, 2002).

The authors account the happenings of the unfortunate incident by talking to the survivors about their experience of witnessing the Atomic bomb tragedy. They implemented hardline journalistic rules to penetrate into the skin of the survivors to paint their physical and psychological breakdown on the paper through the magic of words and images. It is hard to be objective while covering an emotional and sensitive incident as the cases like these could have a huge impact on the emotional etiquette of the investigator. But, Hiroshima and grave of fireflies are expressed creatively without jeopardizing the reality and/or authenticity of the subjects under study. Rodney Barker, also, recorded a similar account of twenty-five Japanese women who were disfigured due to the Hiroshima Atomic bombing.These women were transported to the United States for plastic and reconstructive surgery. After the surgeries, these women were brought back to their native country – Japan. They disappeared in the society. Barker tracks each of them down by going to Japan under a travel grant that he received and captures their dreadful stories that they experienced throughout this period (Raphael, 2016).

Hersey and Takahata explain the plight of the victims plight that has shattered their existence in their own country and they were left half-dead and half-alive. The story of Hiroshima depicts an outstanding contribution of a Reverend Mr. Kiyoshi Tanimoto along with other survivors who survived the bombings and who try to help themselves and their injured fellows. Takahata’s Grave of the Fireflies is an outstanding expression of a living and dying in war. The film is one of kind that is acclaimed as an anti-war film by most of the critiques, which Takahata denies. Takahata attempts to illustrate how the United States turned Japan into a hell that even engulfed the innocent children. The story is narrated by the two children who at their young and innocent age got wiped away from the surface of Japan along with their budding dreams (Hanitzsch, 2004). The results of the bombing are devastating. The film is an adaptation of an autobiography of Nosaka Akiyuki who was a small boy when bombs were dropped in Japan. The film starts with the main character sitting against a pillar, and the film writes a prologue ‘’September 21, 1945… that was the night I died’’. This provokes psychological responses, a fete rarely produced by other genres.

Both the artifacts illustrate a detailed account of the incident that traumatized the whole world. Hersey, as well as Takahata, highlighted even the small details to make their presentation strong enough to read. Hersey described every character (Survivor) extensively, for instance, Reverend Mr. Kiyoshi Tanimoto is psychologically and emotionally arrested by watching the situation of the humankind. He attempts to rescue the injured to reduce their pain. But, his contribution was not recognized as he was criticised in Japan when he comes back from the United States where he went for medical care. Father Wilhelm Kleinsorge, the another priest who survived the bombings, also extends his help and support to the wounded people. He offers water to the injured people to quench their thirst. The story of Mrs. Toshiko Sasaki, one of the survived women, is beautifully illustrated by the author to depict her pain and suffering. Her leg was fractured and she did not get any medical care due to which her leg got grimly infected. The two doctors, Dr. Fuji Masakazu and Dr.Terufumi Sasaki, could not help her and release their pain as they were themselves shattered by the death and pain of the people lying on the ground.

The author attempts to capture the sense of loss that still prevails in the minds of the survivors through his words. The people are depicted are very strong as they fight with the tragedy that engulfed a huge portion of their population and left others half-dead and half-alive. Their will to live helps them to bring their lives back to normalcy. One of the doctors, Dr. Fuji, dies from a sudden sickness. The two women climb the ladder from poverty to success. However, the ghosts associated with the bombing refuse to fade away. Lives of the people continue to be threatened by the aftereffects of the bombings. They are subjected to more and more suffering but they keep living in high hopes.

Hersey and Takahata portray countless miseries of the people at that the time when the humanity is lost in black poisonous smokes of greed, egoism, and power of others. However, in the aftermath of the war creatively depicted in Hiroshima involves the six survivors with a sense of goodwill pride and reconciliation. Historically, it's one of the greatest tragedy to befall humanity.No other country in Asia faced such a calamity in the history of time. However, the people had hope that in the fullness of time things would restore back to normal. Similarly, Takahata illustrated his story through creative images which do have a strong impact on the audience.

Hersey and Takahata operate through their diverse techniques to present their forte. Takahata boons the opening death scene presents a cinematic metaphor. There is an element of accurate reporting by the filmmaker, where Seita loses his sister due to malnutrition as a result of hunger and starvation. When Seita loses his parents, he alongside his younger sister get accommodation at their aunt's residence who subjects them to cruelty mostly rejecting their existence. The main topic here presented is how war changes the true selves of human beings (Stahl, 2010). Seita exhibits a perfect example of blind patriotism. Hersey, also, establishes his own creative self by starting from a normal morning when most people are engaged by the daily routines. But, everything changes suddenly leaving the people dead, injured, and shattered. However, the people believe that the things will stabilize and life would return to normal again. The message presented here is a strong one making people think about their attitudes upon seeing others in need. No other genre can report events in such a way during a state of high human need compared to journalistic reporting.

As evident from the introduction, both the two works, Hiroshima and Grave of the fireflies, employed different media to express but, both are very much moving to put forward one of the biggest crimes done to the humanity once. The portrayal of pain, sufferings, and distress is of high quality which opens up newer horizons to make its readers to rethink their contribution to the humankind. Journalistic reporting have always proved to bring the reality before the global audience in a creative way. Bound to certain hard-line rules and regulations, the reporting is actually retelling a story so creatively that the reader feels the reality – aftermaths of Hiroshima in this case. When humanity is faced by such calamities, they resort to doing different things as a way of seeking solace. They remain faithful and believe in their ideologies no matter how tough the situation is. Though some people may lose themselves bt, there are some who fight till the end. The two masterpieces in one way or the other try to highlight the continuous struggle of the survivors to rebuild their dreams and lives. The information is real and authentic and the authors maintained the objectivity to its highest levels without jeopardizing the actuality. The author attempt to achieve a particular objective and that is the objective of telling the truth creatively (Wolfsfeld, 1997). They both are successful to convey their intended message. Both the texts in which the stories are carried evoke different emotions through creative non-fiction. They cover a vast audience, though their medium varies. Grave of the fireflies is an animated film while Hiroshima is woven through the magic of words.

Journalistic reporting requires objectivity and accuracy along with a sense of creativity to paint the very picture of any event or incident. It is well illustrated in the media that ethics govern the production of reports, news or information. It is applied in a broad range of field that includes but not limited to the controversial themes such as war or peace journalism and the associated political affairs. It further looks at the circumstances that lead to the anarchy and the duplexity of the situation. Journalists reporting has achieved success compared to other genres such as action, adventure, comedy, mystery, horror, and self-help when presenting human fragility and powerlessness. The two examples, Hiroshima and Grave of fireflies, discussed in this essay achieved higher levels of objective reporting by recording real accounts of the Hiroshima incident. Some of the achievements include accuracy and standards of factual reporting, and libel reporting, harm limitation and psychological responses that encourage reactive reporting. Journalistic reporting further recognizes different personalities together with the realness of entities in the fragile ecosystem. According to the fundamental principle of journalism, reports that are presented should be as accurate and precise, reflecting the actual position and situation.


Barker, R., 1985. The Hiroshima Maidens: A story of courage, compassion, and survival. Viking Pr.

Hanitzsch, T., 2004. Journalists as peacekeeping force? Peace journalism and mass communication theory. Journalism Studies.

Raphael, C. 2016. "How John Hersey's Hiroshima revealed the horror of the bomb". Magazine. BBC News. Retrieved September 15, 2017.

Stahl, D.C., 2010. Victimization And" Response-Ability": Remembering, Representing, And Working Through Trauma In Grave Of The Fireflies. In Imag (in) in the War in Japan. Brill.

Takahata, I., 2002. Hotaru No Haka: Grave of the Fireflies. Central Park Media.

Wolfsfeld, G., 1997. Promoting peace through the news media: Some initial lessons from the Oslo peace process. Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics, 2(4).

October 13, 2022
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Journalism Bias Research

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