The new “new journalism”

If you’ve been a journalist for more than a few years, the term “new journalism” may bring back old memories.  First used by Tom Wolfe in the late 1960s, it describes the use of literary techniques like narrative, dialogue and central characters in writing news.  It was controversial at the time and found mainly in magazines, but it’s almost commonplace today in major newspapers and long-form television.  Now, the term is back again, with a twist.

The “new” new journalism is an entirely different animal, focused on interaction with users who also generate content.  But it raises many of the same ethical questions as the old new journalism about accuracy and sourcing.  And as Maegan Carberry writes in Editor & Publisher, it can put young journalists at odds with their bosses:

We are coming to professional and personal fruition with the mentality that news is a collective conversation on multi-media platforms, not just what I like to call Brussel Sprouts Journalism, where an editor at a desk serves up content they think we should read – even if we don’t want it. The question of how such a collective conversation will retain the objectives of fairness, factual accuracy and substantive content is the quintessential challenge for millennial media leaders.

Carberry will be writing a regular feature for E&P exploring how young journalists can shape the future of news.

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