Willis examines the many orientations and perspectives of reporters that gather and present the news of the day. Debunking the notion that there are limited perspectives journalists may use, Willis examines up to 15 different orientations that reporters bring to their work. These perspectives run the gamut, from the traditional approach of distancing oneself completely from events and people involved to becoming part of the story's fabric to ascertain the story's true essence.
Willis also suggests that, for many stories, it is wholly appropriate for journalists to feel what a non-professional would experience at such an event, and to allow those emotions to fuel the reporting and writing of the story. Several examples are discussed in detail, including the coverage of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995, and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.