Gonzo Journalism

Journalism genre associated with Hunter S Thompson

aka New Journalism? (term associated more with Tom Wolfe)

is a highly subjective and extremely personal form of reporting... Gonzo is really an Italian word for absurdities - gonzagas.

A rambling rolling style of writing that sucks in the audience and makes the reader feel as if he or she is actually experiencing the action. Thompson's writing technique requires hands on experience. He lives what he writes. The technique compares to the acting technique known as Method Acting... The beating is unfortunate, but Thompson could not cover the story of the Hell's Angels without becoming personally involved. He never lies to the Angels about being a reporter, and they seem to respect him for his honesty; although the Angels hate reporters for all the bad press they receive. He tries to avoid conflict by blending in with the group and living their lifestyle. He becomes like a fly on the wall Observing everything, but not interfering. The style allows Thompson to do something unheard of previously, report truthfully about the Hell's Angels.

Thompson wrote The only thing I ever saw that came close to Objective Journalism was a closed-circuit TV (CCTV) setup that watched shoplifters in the General Store at Woody Creek, Colorado.... So much for Objective Journalism. Don't bother to look for it here - not under any byline of mine; or anyone else I can think of. With the possible exception of things like box scores, race results, and stock market quotations, there is no such thing as Objective Journalism. The phrase itself is a pompous contradiction in terms.

  • and Some people will say that words like scum and rotten are wrong for Objective Journalism - which is true, but they miss the point. It was the built-in blind spots of the Objective rules and dogma that allowed Nixon to slither into the White House in the first place. He looked so good on paper that you could almost vote for him sight unseen. He seemed so all-American, so much like Horatio Alger, that he was able to slip through the cracks of Objective Journalism. You had to get Subjective to see Nixon clearly, and the shock of recognition was often painful.

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