The eyewitnessed reportage has a pronounced character of narrating. The imaginative power of the text helps the reader to empathise with the characters. That makes constructing empathy a necessary skill of reporters. But how can this be done?
Despite a tradition of story telling among reporters, narratologists virtually have neglected the reportage genre. The purpose of this thesis is to examine how narrative strategies can be used in reportages and, at the same time, suggest methods for investigating those strategies. The main question is: How can empathy be constructed? Empathy is here defined as a function of presence, perspective, selection and disnarration. A screen of covert values is also added.
The study applies a narratological and a media rhetorical approach to journalistic narratives, and focus is on basic discussions supported by analysis samples. Theories by Gérard Genette, Dorrit Cohn, Seymor Chatman, William C. Booth, Gerald Prince, Göran Rossholm, Bengt Nerman and others are discussed.
Even though a reportage is about real events, it always represents a personal interpretation. It presents the readers with a represented reality. In a narratological model for the macro level of the reportage I identify the trait of construction as an interaction between three instances: the producer (i. e. the implied author), the narrator and the experiencing reporter. On a micro level this model helps me to explain, for example, how a homodiegetic narrator can be combined with external focalisation, and how another character than the experiencing reporter can be focalised. In the former case I examine the interplay between showing and telling relative to the narrator’s visibility. In the latter case I especially focus on a complex technique for shifting perspectives, both those concerning thoughts, like Free, Indirect Discourse (FID), and those concerning perception. At the same time I study different degrees of perspectivity.