1. The Oregonian
“The Boy Behind the Mask”
To report “The Boy Behind the Mask,” Tom Hallman, Jr. spent hundreds of hours, over more than 10 months, poring over medical records, reading Lightner family journals, hanging out at the Lightner house, attending school with Sam, interviewing Sam’s friends, and twice traveling across the country with the family. He saw virtually every important development with his own eyes and heard every key conversation with his own ears. As a result, relatively few scenes in “The Boy Behind the Mask” are reconstructed, and those are the result of careful interviews with all key participants. Every such scene contains attribution to the memories of the participants. No dialogue appears within quotation marks unless Hallman heard a conversation himself.
2. The Virginian-Pilot
“Love and Loss in a Navy Town”
This account is based on dozens of interviews, court transcripts, detectives’ notes, and other documents introduced into evidence during the trials for the murder of Michelle Moore-Bosko. Contact writer Matthew Dolan at 757-446-2287 or email@example.com.
3. The Cincinnati Enquirer
“Circle of Friends”
John Johnston, 41, has been an Enquirer features writer for nine years. This series is based on two months of interviews with students, faculty and parents in the Finneytown School District, who agreed to share their story. Some scenes were drawn from their accounts, others were witnessed by Mr. Johnston. [He] welcomes your email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. The Kansas City Star
“Justice: the Christine Elkins Story”
The Kansas City Star was given extraordinary behind-the-scenes access for this series, “Justice: the Christine Elkins story.” In addition to covering events in the case as they unfolded, staff writer Matthew Schofield reviewed virtually every investigative record produced in the nine-year-long case and thousands of pages of trial transcript. Beyond that, he conducted hundreds of hours of interviews, talking to dozens of investigators, attorneys and others involved. Certain portions of this series, including some dialogue between key figures, are taken directly from court documents. All descriptions and conversations were constructed through use of official reports, court files, photos, audiotapes, videotapes and the firsthand recollections of those connected to the case.
5. The Providence Journal
“Into the Heart: A Medical Odyssey”
“Into the Heart: A Medical Odyssey,” is a nine-part series, beginning on Sunday, January 10 and running through Monday, January 18.…Providence Journal staff writer G. Wayne Miller, author of eight earlier series for the newspaper and three Random House books, has spent almost two years reconstructing the story of open-heart surgery. He conducted nearly 200 interviews, and then confirmed the interviewee’s recollections through diaries, letters, scientific literature, photographs, news accounts, and medical and legal records. His reporting took him to Minnesota and Alabama, and he watched several open-heart operations in Providence and Boston.
Miller uses direct quotations only when he heard or saw (as in a letter) the words; he paraphrased other words—omitting quotation marks— once he had confirmed that they had been spoken. There are no composite scenes or characters in this story. No names have been changed.
These examples were taken from the Narrative Newspaper Web site at www.inkstain.net/narrative