Chronicle Definition

The term chronic has its origin in the Latin chronica, whose etymological antecedent is found in the Greek concept kronika biblios. The term refers to a story that narrates events according to their chronological organization.

For example: «When I first read the chronicles of Marco Polo, I was fascinated», «The newspaper El Vespertino published an interesting chronicle about yesterday’s game», «The chronicles of the summit indicate that the Uruguayan president left in a daze».

The chronicle is a journalistic genre.

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The chronicle as a genre

The chronicle is a genre that is somewhat complicated to define, however we could say that there are two types of chronicle: journalistic and literary. Both are characterized by recounting events that have happened, in the order in which they have done so. In the first there is something that is non-negotiable, which should not contain an ounce of fantasy. In the second you can afford to include fiction. In both cases, the person in charge of compiling and narrating facts is known as a chronicler. In this sense, the chroniclers of the Indies were the authors who, after the European arrival in America, devoted themselves to describing the customs of the aborigines who inhabited American soil.

Some authors try to explain what was described above in this way. The chronicle as a journalistic note is published in different media (newspapers, magazines, television or radio) and touches on current issues; while when it comes to a text pigeonholed within the literary genre, it narrates real or fictitious situations according to the order in which they happened real or imaginary, based on the testimonies of real or fictitious witnesses.

Journalism and literature

It is the most abundant journalistic style in newspapers and journalistic media whose particularities are related to providing information clearly and without having to use expressive or fictional resources to do so. It is a type of direct writing, where the emotional aspects of the parties are left aside and where the axis revolves around the events that are to be mentioned.

Anyway, there are many contradictions regarding the characteristics that the authors believe a text should have, in fact there are highly contradictory opinions that do not clarify at all the idea of ​​the bases of this genre. To give an example, while some consider that the chronicle is the most informative journalistic genre, others observe that it is the most opinionated or editorializing.

José Luis Martínez Albertos defines it as a hybrid genre found in the middle, between the news and the editorial texts. Possibly this is the definition that is closest to the real meaning of the term. As it is a direct narration about a piece of news but with certain evaluation elements that are what give it a more literary character, committed and also less close to the information as we understand it.

Fundamental aspects of the chronicle

Like any other genre, the chronicle is a way to interest a certain audience in a discourse, in this journalistic case; where the texts must meet a certain number of conditions that allow it to take shape and achieve the results that are expected of it.

It is important to take into account four fundamental aspects: the content (the fact that is narrated), the form (the approach that is given to the subject), the tone (the way in which the journalist addresses the readers) and the effect (the results that are expected to be obtained with that writing).

Classification according to type

There are several types of chronicles, according to the type of approach they have and the interests of the author himself. They may be:

* Of human interest : From a humanistic approach, it tries to motivate certain emotions in the reader from facts where people are interested in people; It is usually found in topics of social interest, especially catastrophes or dramatic events related to life in society.

* Of social interest : Its approach is intimately social; It is usually used to address issues such as social demands, generally opposing the system and opening an unstoppable gap between power and people.

In addition, there are other types of chronicles that are closely related to a particular topic, for example the sports chronicle (shows sports events without getting involved with other aspects of life in society), the judicial chronicle (analyzes the facts from the point of view of the laws), etc.

As a literary genre, the chronicle can serve certain authors with a clear structure to tell a fictional story that borders on reality. There are many writers who have cultivated the genre, some in an amazing way and who have allowed the foundations of this type of literary text to be laid. An example is the work of Gabriel García Márquez (an important reference in Latin American magical realism ) «Chronicle of a death foretold».

In any case, it is necessary to clarify that it is not a strict and defined genre, but that it changes as the times do.

A disease can be qualified as chronic.

Other uses of the notion of chronicle

It should be noted that there are other meanings of the term, among which is the one given from the medical point of view. When the term is applied to a disease or illness, the concept of chronic comes from the Latin chronicus and refers to what is frequent or remains over time. Chronic disease is called, therefore, a pathology whose cure cannot be anticipated or will never materialize directly, so it will remain in the patient’s body. There is, however, no specific term that makes a disease chronic.

Finally Chronicle is a television channel from Argentina, which is characterized by dealing with the news from a tabloid and sensationalist point of view.