Make it stop. Make it stop. Make it stop.
by Jonathan Kaufman
You’re Stanley, and James Gordon Bennett the Younger has hired you to find Livingstone. Of course the Herald’s readers will want to hear about cannibals and crocodiles. As for the rest, save your adventures for your autobiography, assuming you can find a publisher.
The great challenge and great pleasure of being a reporter chasing a developing story is having no idea what the day will hold. If you start to imagine a loose framework for your article, the facts you gather — and surprises along the way — are liable to blow it apart.
That is not what the reader usually sees. An article is, by definition, hindsight; it aims to make sense, in a condensed account, of what the reporter found, which can feel sprawling and confused while the reporting is underway.
But on Friday, two journalists from The Times’s Chicago bureau, Julie Bosman, a reporter, and Monica Davey, the bureau chief, tried something different. They looked to give readers not just the facts of a developing news story — in this case, the mayoral race in Bolingbrook, Ill., a Chicago suburb — but a feel for what it’s like to be the reporter pursuing it.