For The Millions, Catherine K. Buni revisits the work of Joseph Mitchell to explore “hybrid genres” that meld elements of journalism with other forms. In addition, the essay considers the benefits of “fabricating” the truth in creative nonfiction in order to better communicate the “essence of the matter.”...more
Posts Tagged: journalism
Newspaper journalist Samuel Clemens would eventually go on to become novelist Mark Twain. But, Samuel Clemens was something of a story writer too. At the Guardian, Nicky Woolf reports that a scholar at the University of California has discovered and authenticated letters stories written by Twain while he still worked at the San Francisco Dramatic Chronicle....more
Can mansplaining ever be productive? Flavorwire’s Sarah Seltzer suggests that while Jon Krakauer’s ignorance may be infuriating, his “show don’t tell” approach to writing about rape in Missoula might help readers see firsthand how structures of oppression operate:
Krakauer isn’t speaking to “us.” He’s speaking to his mainstream audience, and many of them are probably as ignorant as he admits he was.
When my wife proposed writing a novel together last year, I was initially resistant but not for the most obvious reasons. I wasn’t worried about our ability to work together. I wasn’t even worried about whether we could actually produce a good novel....more
Writers like to believe their words will make them immortal. But in the digital age, most writing careers outlive publications. Carter Maness discovered that most of his career as a music journalist has faded from existence as the publications that published and paid him shut down the servers hosting his words....more
Along with the other onslaught of reactions to The New Republic’s mass resignation, George Packer offers his own response at the New Yorker, suggesting that the “collapse” (along with the recent Rolling Stone debacle) shows a “crisis” in journalism:
The crisis in journalism is a business crisis, and it’s been going on for twenty years; the outcome remains far from obvious.
The tension between an engineering culture and an editorial culture is …damaging and oversimplified … but definitely real. At the recent Newsgeist conference – a coming-together of technologists, educators, journalists and executives – one of the most animated sessions was called “Product versus Editorial” and, if there had been an option for us to express ourselves with primal screaming, it would have shattered the windows, such was the frustration of those who have to work with both.
Taxi app Uber is in some serious trouble. Since its launch, lawmakers and users have had plenty to complain about. Now the company faces charges of sexism, bullying, and even abusing its software to stalk a reporter....more
Why do readers love to hate the Times’s Style section? While many of its trend pieces are guilty of the same transgressions committed elsewhere in mainstream media, a history of misogyny and homophobia directed at lifestyle journalism suggests our contempt goes beyond objective criticism:
Far from detailing the paper’s ignominious decline into muddy ethical waters and vacuous intellectual territory, the history of style reporting at the New York Times actually exposes some of the nastiest truths about misogyny and homophobia in the mass media: their intensity, their unbelievable durations (by which I mean “totally believable”), their active contemporary manifestations, and the role audiences play in perpetuating them.
I didn’t know when he called me that he’d made up nearly all of the bizarre and amazing stories, that he was the perpetrator of probably the most elaborate fraud in journalistic history, that he would soon become famous on a whole new scale.
Laurie Penny, journalist and author of Unspeakable Things: Sex, Lies and Revolution, talks to Flavorwire about feminism, Ferguson, and the harassment of female journalists online:
The fact that there’s an enormous backlash against women’s liberation online doesn’t mean that the Internet is a bad place for women — quite the opposite, in fact.
Technically perfect writing is important when it comes to journalism or nonfiction, and especially helpful when writing with short deadlines. Fiction writing is different though. Nicole Bernier, over at Beyond the Margins, explains why grammatically sloppy writing might be the product of greater creativity:
Sometimes when creative writers say they don’t notice their own typos, it has a whiff of, well, humblebraggery.
Those who do not adhere to self-censorship are likely to face pressure from the state. Al-Masdar website features political news and is loosely affiliated to the recently banned secular activist group April 6 Movement.
More than 5 percent of the messages a woman receives online will be abusive or derogatory in nature, on average. Piers Morgan, whom researchers rank as the No. 1 receiver of hate tweets per day, gets 8.4 percent negative comments — putting him not that far ahead of the average female journalist when it comes to fielding vitriol....more
But in the grand scheme of things, immersion journalism and other forms of narrative nonfiction, such as memoir, have done more for me as a reader than as a writer, allowing me to vicariously experience things I’d be too much of a wuss to ever even try, and to consider versions of life that generally feel out of reach.
The famous playwright and novelist Oscar Wilde also spent a number of years in journalism. Scholars John Stokes and Mark W. Turner are finally collecting Wilde’s journalism from the 1880s. Little is known of Wilde’s life at this time, but the articles he left behind reveal Wilde’s varied interests, reports the Times Literary Supplement, and ultimately laid the groundwork for Wilde’s better-known writing in later years:
One of the most rewarding ways of reading Wilde’s journalism is therefore as a giant workshop for the making of the Wilde that readers know better from his more famous writings of the 1890s.
Two things: First, Alice Gregory’s fascinating account of Nellie Bly’s bold, perennially wry career in journalism—an account that wraps up with a call for female writers to not only write about “women’s issues.”
Second, Ann Friedman responds with a thoughtful defense of making a career writing about “women’s issues.”...more