Thursday, 1 March 2012

The New Journalism - HCJ Semester 2 - Lecture/Seminar 4

American Journalism - historical context

- The Penny Papers - Pamphlets- Produced to influence people by businessmen or politicians to try and influence people and their decisions.
- Creation of 'news wires' - Press Association (PA) - an impartial, or objective news provider, didn't have any political slant or bias, simply there to tell the story. The reason for this was so that it could sell to the mass, as oppose to aiming at a strictly left wing audience or a strictly right wing audience. By having a political bias, or a bias of any sort, you are restricting your selling market, and therefore losing money.
- The Yellow Press [LINK back to previous blog on 'Yellow Journalism:]

The New Journalism

The New Journalism wanted to come away from the pre-concieved ideas of being 'told a story': 3 men were killed after a bomb explosion in Hampshire. But instead, wanted to give you the idea of seeing the story, and making your mind up for yourself, so you are not TOLD what to think, you SEE what you want. When you are able to see the news, as oppose to being told what it is, it becomes, in my opinion, very ambiguous. You can determine what it means by making up your own mind, you haven't got somebody telling you what to think, it then becomes quite subjective.

The idea of 'Status'

Status and competition is everywhere and anywhere in the World. Whether it be Sky Vs BBC, or Man Utd Vs Man City, or Gardener Vs Garden Tractor Driver; the need to be better, faster, higher than the other is constant.

How to write a Feature according to Tom Wolfe:

4 things you need:

1) A scene by scene construction - So as I have touched on above, you need to let the reader see and feel the scene, not tell them what to think from what you see and feel from the scene. I will use the example that popped into my head during the lecture. The film 'Green Street' is perfect for this. An American Journalist comes to the UK, and becomes involved with a football hooligan, and begins to document his findings. What he does, and what he needs to do, is to tell the reader how he dresses, how he looks and how is he different from a 'normal person' - or is this normal? He lets the reader decide for themselves.

2) Realistic Dialogue involves the reader more completely than any other single device - You would need to spend a lot of time with the person, figure out how he interacts with other people, back to status, how he interacts with people below him, and people above him. Is he hostile? Is he different to his kids, wife, parents? This part needs to be extremely investigative.

3) Third person point of view - You would need to get inside their head; figure out his true emotions, and relay them to the reader as if you were the person, but from you, a third person's point of view. But at the same time being careful as to be subjective.

4) Recording of everyday habits, gestures etc - this helps the reader with 'seeing the person'. Helps them to interact, and lets them decide how they feel about the person, via using body language. You could say it is a way of the person and the reader to communicate.

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