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May 16, 2006

The Other Way Around


To answer Gretel's question about avant-garde journalism, yes. There should be and there has been. Alternative journlaism was born out of the 60s counterculture/New Left movement. Though I should say "reborn" since the Village Voice, mother of all alt weeklies was born in the 50s. The 60s also saw the birth of New Journalism, another rebirth really, since it harked back to earlier, less constricted forms of writing journalism.

Alas, the weeklies became formulaic and New Journalism seemed to have had little impact on dailies. But in those cases, yes, the form and the content matched, e.g. rock criticism always took the same attitude as rock itself. Attitude is all over the blogs, but it's a pity that it hasn't had an impact on dailies, or at least not yet.

Newspapers are going online and we who work in them are being urged to take this medium seriously. The debate over the correctness of such a move has focused on whether the high standards of print journalism will be carried on to the web, or will we allow an unfcoused sloppiness that print journalists see not just online but in all other media. What is missing in the debate is the other way around. Will the online work of print journalists be allowed the attitudinousness that permeates online postings, e.g. can we use 4-letter words, which not always but sometimes are the right words to use for their Anglo-Saxon directness? And will we allow the au courant style of online to seep into our print work. The marriage of new and old media will produce offspring. What beast slouches to the newsroom to be born?

Posted by at May 16, 2006 2:31 PM

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