In my review of Robert S. Boynton’s 2005 book “The New New Journalism” last week, I ended on a question I was left with after finishing the book: “In today’s changing media environment, how does a young writer who aspires to do this kind of journalism find a viable outlet for his or her work?”
Much to my delight, after I shared the post on my Facebook page, Boynton himself responded with something that – at least in part – answers that question and also offers his views on where journalism is headed.
This month, Boynton published an essay on Byliner.com titled, “The New New Journalism, circa 2011,” in which he addresses many of the Chicken Little-esque pronouncements about the future of journalism, particularly long-form journalism.
Posted in Book Review
Tagged Book review, Career, Facebook, Journalism, Literary journalism, Long-form journalism, Narrative journalism, New Journalism, New New Journalism, New York University, Robert S. Boynton
Photo by Kate Gardiner, used under Creative Commons license Non-Commercial 2.0
In a piece for The New Yorker last year, Evan Osnos, who has been the magazine’s China correspondent since 2008, wrote about a leader who rose through the ranks of the political party that has dominated his city for the better part of the past century to assume a position of power once held by his father. But the story’s subject isn’t a Communist Party boss. He is Richard M. Daley,whose sixth term as the Democratic mayor of Chicago ends Monday. Osnos’ profile offers rare insight into the life of a man who is well known for his contentious relationship with the press. “The Daley Show” appeared in the magazine on March 8, 2010, before Daley announced that he did not intend to seek re-election.
Osnos has been familiar with Daley since he interned at the Chicago Tribune while he was an undergraduate at Harvard. “He struck me as a fairly unique American political figure,” the writer said. Around the time of Barack Obama’s historic election, Osnos, who came to The New Yorker from the Tribune’s Beijing bureau, pitched a story to the magazine‘s editors about the man who wields seemingly unchecked power in the new president’s political training grounds. The editors were very supportive of the idea. “They were interested in understanding, ‘Who was the guy who controlled the city that produced Obama?'” Osnos said.
To do the story, Osnos knew he would need to spend a lot of time with the mayor. Given Daley’s fiery attitude toward reporters this could have been an insurmountable obstacle. “For a New Yorker piece of this kind, you need to have a lot of access,” he said. “I wasn’t going to do the story unless I knew I was going to have access to Daley to interview him repeatedly.” He approached Jacquelyn Heard, the mayor’s press secretary, with the idea in early 2009. While the administration had the “usual level of concern” expected from any political operation, Osnos was guaranteed the time he needed with the mayor.