By Austin and Matt


Hunter S. Thompson

One of the greatest American writers of our time, Hunter S. Thompson, had a lot to say about objectivity in journalism. In a 1997 interview by Matthew Hahn published in The Atlantic Monthly, Thompson said,

I don’t get any satisfaction out of the old traditional journalist’s view… Objective journalism is one of the main reasons American politics has been allowed to be so corrupt for so long…. the trick is that you have to use words well enough so that these nickle-and-dimers who come around bitching about being objective or the advertisers don’t like it are rendered helpless by the fact that it’s good… I don’t quite understand this worship of objectivity in journalism. Now, just flat-out lying is different from being subjective.”

Thompson invented Gonzo Journalism, a subset of journalism he describes as subjective, but a term he admits he’s “come to dislike because of the way it’s been cast: inaccurate, crazy.” In reality, he believed “[a]ll the journalists who are known, really, have been that way because they were subjective” which he felt described the term best. When asked how it compares to New Journalism, he claimed its “[i]ntertwined, in that it is no accident that Gonzo is in Tom Wolfe’s book The New Journalism [1973].” Critiques of New Journalism in the 1970’s called it journalism “of passion and advocacy” (Gerald Grant). Curtis D. MacDougal in the Sixth Edition of his Interpretative Reporting to New Journalism indexed many of its contemporary definitions: “Activist, advocacy, participatory, tell-it-as-you-see-it, sensitivity, investigative, saturation, humanistic, reformist and a few more.” Comparably, when Thompson was asked what the mission of his journalistic style was regardless of how he felt about Gonzo Journalism presently, he’s quoted: “ I can’t think in terms of journalism without thinking in terms of political ends. Unless there’s been a reaction, there’s been no journalism. It’s cause and effect.” Therefore he would agree, if something is written well, it doesn’t need to entice people with pictures, flashy graphics, or a catchy title like ‘Region in Revolt.’ Commenting on the uprisings in the Middle East, the homepage on the World News section of the New York Times April 6th, 2011 read this hoping to entice readers.

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[Austin and Matt]

Without a doubt, blogging is changing the way we receive information and also refocusing our attention from traditional news media to the online world. Because of their more personal, interactive nature, blogs are an essential medium for understanding how and why information is circulating online. This concept is further exlplained in the idea of the Blogipelago.

It’s reported that 14% of the general public is on Twitter compared to the 74% of bloggers. The number is supposedly higher for professional bloggers, whose primary use is promotion of their own blogs. Information can reach a much wider audience through Twitter than through updating a site alone. The question, then, is what are professional bloggers? Another commonly asked question is whether or not bloggers should be considered journalists. Clay Shirky’s view on this that they are simply a new answer to how we inform society, and that the networks of how we are becoming informed are drastically changing with the increasing use of the internet in our everyday lives.

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Peter and Whitney (<–click for pt. 1)

State of Online News

Digital delivery of news has become more established with 6 out of 10 Americans visiting online news sources daily. With the growth, monetization issues have arisen. Should loyal consumers who engage deeply with the content be worth more than a large audience of quick readers?

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James Curran, “The Future of Journalism”

This looks like a job for... Wait, what?

James Curran opens by saying that reactions to new pieces of technology in the regards of media and communications have often been miscalculated in the regards of the scale of the change and the actual effects that would manifest. In the 1970′s, band radio was going to reign supreme. In the 1990′s, American Industry expert Tom Laster amongst others said CDs would replace books. Needless to say such rampant speculation was never truly realized, so in an age where technology is showing all the signs of revolution, is it likely that journalism will be eclipsed by the juggernaut that is the internet? Read the rest of this entry »