ABSTRACT

This chapter details some fundamentals of the approach used in analytical journalism. It provides a basic understanding of reality and causal explanation, which are the preconditions for this form of journalism. The chapter outlines how journalism sees causality and the way it explains current issues. It covers metatheoretical considerations regarding the nature of social reality and ways to explore it. The chapter offers guidelines for the observation of phenomena as outcomes, for handling the different layers of reality and the plurality of factors that impact upon current phenomena. The causal framework is crucial for the research phases 2 to 4 of analytical journalism but is also relevant for the other three phases of analytical journalism. Phenomena in the social world are generated by a multitude of causes. Causes and outcomes are conceptualised as variables, which in turn are the building blocks for causal theories in the social sciences.