New Journalism

Tom Wolfe

New Journalism is a style of news writing and journalism, developed in the 1960s and 1970s, that uses literary techniques unconventional at the time. It is characterized by a subjective perspective, a literary style reminiscent of long-form non-fiction. Using extensive imagery, reporters interpolate subjective language within facts whilst immersing themselves in the stories as they reported and wrote them. In traditional journalism, however, the journalist is ‘invisible’; facts are reported objectively. The term was codified with its current meaning by Tom Wolfe in a 1973 collection of journalism articles he published as The New Journalism, which included works by himself, Truman Capote, Hunter S. Thompson, Norman Mailer, Joan Didion, Terry Southern, Robert Christgau, Gay Talese and others. Articles in the New Journalism style tended not to be found in newspapers, but in magazines such as The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, CoEvolution Quarterly, Esquire, New York, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, and for a short while in the early 1970s, Scanlan’s Monthly. Contemporary journalists and writers questioned the ‘currency’ of New Journalism and its qualification as a distinct genre. The subjective nature of New Journalism received extensive exploration: one critic suggested the genre’s practitioners functioned more as sociologists and psychoanalysts than as journalists. Criticism has been leveled at numerous individual writers in the genre, as well. … Tom Wolfe, a practitioner and principal advocate of the form, wrote in at least two articles[17][18] in 1972 that he had no idea of where it began. Trying to shed light on the matter, literary critic Seymour Krim offered his explanation in 1973: I’m certain that [Pete] Hamill first used the expression. In about April of 1965 he called me at Nugget Magazine, where I was editorial director, and told me he wanted to write an article about new New Journalism. It was to be about the exciting things being done in the old reporting genre by Talese, Wolfe and Jimmy Breslin. …”
W – The New Journalism
Esquire: Why They Aren’t Writing the Great American Novel Anymore – Tom Wolfe
amazon: The New New Journalism

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