Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
New Journalism was the name given to a style of news writing and journalism by Tom Wolfe who, when having trouble writing an assignment, sent his editor an unstructured narrative letter rather than the tight piece usually expected of a journalist of that time. Articles in the New Journalism tended not be found in newspapers, but rather in magazines such as New York Magazine, Esquire Magazine and for a short while in Scanlan's Monthly, founded in 1970 and folded in 1971.
New Journalism took on many of the devices of literary fiction:
- Stream of consciousness
- Conversational speech (rather than quotations and statements)
- Writer's opinions, thoughts and feelings (as opposed only to corroborated facts).
Journalists recognised as using the style include P. J. O'Rourke, Gay Talese and George Plimpton. Hunter S. Thompson was a major practitioner of new journalism and Gonzo journalism, his own spin-off. Thompson's first book, The Hells Angels, a strange and terrible saga is a more conventional piece, and uses the first person only to provide information on the Hells Angels. His later work, such as Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas focus more on his own experiences and emotions.
The range of subjects covered by writers writing in the new journalism style covered most areas that journalism would normally cover. The psychedelic movement was something that many of the writers of the period covered, such as in Tom Wolfe's The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. The Vietnam War was another common topic. New journalism's techniques were also applied to less obvious subjects, such as financial markets (by George Goodman under the pseudonym Adam Smith, originally published in New York Magazine and later collected in a book called The Money Game .)
Wolfe's letter had the original title There Goes (Varoom! Varoom!) That Kandy-Kolored (Thphhhhhh!) Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby (Rahghhh!) Around the Bend (Brummmmmmmmmmmmmmm)..., which was later contracted to The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby and became the title of Wolfe's book. The editor chose simply to remove the salutation from Wolfe's letter and print it as received.
- New Journalism, Tom Wolfe, ISBN 0060471832
- The Kentucky Derby is decadent and depraved by Hunter S. Thompson
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