New Journalism

The New Journalism & American Journalism

The Penny Papers 
It America the Penny Papers was a tabloid style newspaper produced in the United States during the mid- 19th century. The paper was deeply partisan, often controlled by political parties and business men. The articles put forward a point of view and sometimes there could be useful information in them. 
The Penny Papers were writing material for people who were not highly education. Tapping into regular public.

Objectivity became a factor in journalism in the mid 19th century. Different political parties in each allegiance. The only way you can sell news to a variety of people is to make it true and objective and neutral. Rather than just the party line. Objectivity wasn’t at the beginning of journalism but it did developed. 

The Yellow Press- (late 19th Century New York) 
Yellow Journalism or the yellow press is a type of journalism that presents crime stories, emotive headlines and big striking pictures to make people read it. The paper focuses on using eye catching headlines and images to draw in readership. The news in the yellow press made readers react in a sensual way whether it be shock or loss.  The stories would be of human interest stories, to make us react and care about the stories and along side this Big pictures were used to gain readers interest and simple tabloid words were used. The Sun on Sunday- is the Yellow Press it’s tabloid journalism. 

Some people will describe The Yellow Press like a "frozen television." But it was the first New Journalism. It was a radical shift. 

Many called Yellow Journalism the New Journalism without a soul. All the stories were about sin, sex and violence.- Good investigative journalism carried out by the yellow press. 

The world of William Randolph Hearst of the new york journal and Joseph Pulitzer of the New York World

America of 1960s and 70s- similar to the time of Hearst and the Yellow Press. There was a great deal of political and social upheaval fighting the foreign wars, with even more serious military threat building overseas. 

Journalists record the events of the day in a normally in a formulaic way. Who What Where When Why. The News Pyramid, very formulaic. Always have two sources of information etc. Attempt to reflect what was happening at the time but recorded in a more accurate and true sense. - Tom Wolf. They wanted the event to bleed into the copy. 

Political and Cultural scene

1960s was particularly turbulent. JFK gave great hope and wanted to represent the American Dream. His assignation was a moment of soul searching for America. 

The disastrous Vietnam War. They drafted into the army to go to Vietnam but the wealthy could avoid it. Muhammad Ali refused to be conscripted. 

Political repercussions then took place. 

The Baby BOOM: They was a shift in the make up of political America and there was a boom in the amount of babies that were born. The youth culture became a phenomena and the elite had to deal with it. The generation clash- the young became created political change. 

Sexual Revolution: In the mid 60s it was becoming legally excepted to use the contraceptive pill. Sexual revolution- sexual freedom, the pill, Reichian free love. Women could take control of their reproductive system. It taps into Existentialism and the rights to freedom. Reich was very influential at this time. This tied into feminism. 

Universities became the center of radical politics. The police shot students and thousands of students would march for equal rights. Women and Black people were too fighting for equal rights. 

The use of LSD introduced by the CIA to access altered thinking of counterculture. LSD scooped into the campus/student life to escape hierarchy. 

The prohibition of drugs created subcultures- Hippies, communes and collectives etc. Youth culture was deviant. The CIA created the need for LSD and created arguably a drug culture but the gov. fought this. “Turn on, tune it, drop out”- they wouldn’t get involved in society. 

Music was central to this. Sartre though jazz was authentic, the music was true and not in bad faith. Musical 1960s was an attack on the norm. Drug fueled (Doors) and the anti establishment (Bob Dylan)- with the aim to subvert and be political. 

Influence on Existentialism

Ideas informed by existentialism- Heidegger’s authenticity, Sartre’s Bad Faith.

Frantz Fanon 
He believed an act of violence of extreme expression of choice. Violence will be the way to push to freedom. Key ideas are the freedom of choice for example Fanon’s view of a path to freedom via accelerated choice (violence) 

There is no super structure to life you have to create meaning through your choices and actions. If you had an existentialist machine that scans you- it wouldn't bring up your past. It would just see the choices that you’ve made. The most interesting choice is your next one. 

Attack on existentialism: If everyone has their own meaning isn’t it just anarchy? - It is essentially about someones freedom and if you limit a persons freedom then that is bad faith on your behalf. 

Malcolm X, Human rights activist, cut of his past. This is very much an existentialist view that we are not our past. He agrees with Fanon- violence is the way to freedom. 
Anti established feeling of “there is a policeman inside your head he must be destroyed” began to steep into journalism. 

Journalists question whether basing stories on press releases, conferences and official statements made by the establishment was really objective- and more importantly a true reflection of events? 
  • You can’t say everything is great when they are not. 
New forms of journalism started to emerge. 

Journalists turned away from police or anyone and began to focus on setting, plot, feelings direct quotes. Lets try and reflect whats happening in an accurately as we can. They still worried about facts and truth. As a features writer you went out of the office and worked like a crime reporter. Truman Capote, Tom Wolfe and Norman Mailer are examples of this new breed. 

This alternative Journalism was personal and expressed an individuals “point of view” to be subjective. 

The articles were unconventional, disagreeable and unfriendly.- This is good to be awkward as a journalist. 

We move away from telling to seeing. It’s about the setting, how a person is sitting and what words they use. 

Marshall McLuhan’s Hot and Cool media. 
Hot media is explicit about what its telling you, very daily mail. No choice about what you are reading. 
Cool media is the “man men” its ambiguous you have to interpret the media. You see whats happening but you make the decision on what is happening. 

New journalists are less worried about objectivity but they were focused on remaining accurate throughout their work. They thought that the most effective news was be one where the reporter underwent subjective experience. 

Tom Wolfe
American author and journalist, Tom Wolfe is well known for his association and influence over New Journalism.
explains the setting/ surroundings but the reader can feel closer to the scene.
It was all about natural realism. He was a fan of Emile Zola. One of the greatest writers of natural realism. She fascinates about the small detail of the setting. 

The New Journalism (collection of essays of the art of what Tom Wolfe describes) 

Wolfe enters journalism and highlights the competition that surrounds it. 

Dialogue was beginning to be used, like a novel. Tom Wolfe seeps into the world of features using dialogue. There was a dramatic shift to replicate what was happening in the real world and replicate it on paper. 

It takes more time as you have to interview lots of people, soak up the scene of where you are writing and focus on the detail. Focus on your interviewee. To get his sort of material you have to  invest a lot of time with the subjects.  P.46 & 47- read if you want to get into features. 

1. When you write a feature you describe scene by scene not narrative. “Scene by Scene construction” 

  1. You would have to reflect the dialogue and scene. “realistic dialogue” involves the reader more than other single devise. 
  2. third person point of view- giving the reader the feeling of being inside the interviewee’s mind. 
  3. Record everyday gestures, habits, manners, customs, styles of furniture, modes of behavior towards children, superiors, inferiors and other symbolic details that might exist within a scene. Symbolic people’s status life. 

Ultimately a New Journalism piece is Fear and Loathing... “Gonzo Journalism”- Journalist Louis Theroux

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