Two days before the case was down for hearing the advance reporter of an important syndicate obtained an interview with the Duke for the purpose of gleaning some final grains of information concerning his Grace's personal arrangements during the trial.

from The Unkindest Blow, a short story by Saki

What is the difference between the advance reporter and the reporter?


The noun "reporter" has "advance" attached to it as an adjective so it means "reported beforehand".

  • I think after reading the paragraphs before and after the selected text via the link provided, the author is describing a reporter from a media profession. Advance reporters in media are those with special access who can obtain a more intimate interview with their subject and are generally the first ones to do it.

  • It could also be referencing a legal occupation where someone is authorized to obtain and record testimony or conduct a deposition for the Court before a hearing and generally outside of the courthouse location. Whereas a reporter (in a Court) records this information as the case is being tried (also called stenographer).I don't see any mention of a formal deposition in this part of the story and in general, it seems more interested in describing the pomp and circumstance of the media and less about actual legal proceedings.

From Meriiam Webster Dictionary:

advance (adjective)
Definition of advance (Entry 3 of 3)

1: made, sent, or furnished ahead of time. ex: advance sales

2: going or situated before. ex: an advance party of soldiers

source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/advance

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    I initially wondered if an "advance reporter" was a reporter sent to cover a major event but arrives before that event actually begins. (So, for example, an advance reporter might be sent to the city hosting the Olympics a few days before the opening ceremonies.) It sounds like a journalism term from bygone days when more people got their news from printed newspapers. I don't know if this term is still used (I couldn't find it), but, as a long-time Saki fan, I've become accustomed to running across outdated terms in his stories, given that he wrote most of them circa 1910. – J.R. Dec 26 '18 at 21:58
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    I heard my father use it once or twice while watching a U.S. show called "60 Minutes" together in the 80's and in a story my mother-in-law told about her father, a journalist, working for an advance reporter in India. These two gents were born around 1920. So I'd say you are spot-on about the phrase being antiquated. I found an obituary about this gentleman, Neil Driscoll, while searching for a concrete definition to back up my memory. His obituary describes him as an advance reporter: silive.com/news/2017/06/neil_driscoll_dies_former_adva.html – Val Dec 26 '18 at 22:25
  • Alas, seems like the aforementioned chap in the obituary was employed by a newspaper called "Advance" and not an "advance reporter". Unfortunately, I didn't find any concrete definition about the use of the term either. – Val Dec 26 '18 at 22:50

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