Writing a chronicle. Tips from the journalist and author Patrik Lundberg

These tips come from a lecture by the South Korean journalist and author Patrik Lundberg on March 28th, Utbudskväll for librarians, at Gothenburg city museum, Gothenburg.

What is a journalistic chronicle? A personal written text with your own thoughts and opinions. It is usually a historical account of events. The event would be described in order of how they happened. This is also known as chronological order.

Lundberg explained that a journalistic chronicle could be compared to a movie. At the start there is presentation that sets the scene, then there is deepening, where the audience starts to see the subtext in the story being told. As in any drama there is a conflict and then there is the resolution.

Lungberg also went on to explain how ethos, pathos and Logos should be used when writing a chronicle.

What is ethos, pathos and logos?

Ethos is used to show the writers ethics. The writer would use ethos to convince his audience that he is a credible source and of good character. You achieve ethos by writing from a non-biased viewpoint, using appropriate language that suits your audience, producing a well written text and demonstrating your expertise or knowledge on the subject. Ethos in Greek means ‘character’ and the word ‘ethic’ comes from the Greek word ethos.

Pathos is used to evoke emotion in the reader/audience. A story is no good if the reader can not relate emotionally to the people or their experiences. These emotions could be pity, anger or even humour. Pathos in Greeks means both ‘suffering’ and ‘experience’. The words ‘empathy’ and ‘pathetic’ comes from the word Pathos.

Logos is used when appealing to an audience’s sensibilities through logic or reason. The aim is to convince the reader/audience through citing facts and citing from credible sources. Successful persuasion is achieved through creating a logical argument. Logos in Greek literally means ‘word’, but its use is much more abstract. The word ‘logic’ comes from the word logos.

Lungberg presented these questions and statements

  • How do you prepare yourself? (Ethos)
  • What you write must be true. You should not exaggerate or under estimate the events and you should include evidence. (Logos)
  • How do you want the reader to feel? (Pathos)

Top tips from Patrik:

  • Dare to give the content an angle (e.g. a personal point of view)
  • Do not start from the beginning (e.g. start from the end and work back to the beginning or mix up the chronological order)
  • The writing takes 20% of the time
  • The editing takes 80% of the time
  • Write what you meant, not what you thought

Most important of all: Please always be kind and show respect towards other people.


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