The new journalism label presents itself in opposition to the traditional journalism created in the 1950s in the United States.
Until the emergence of the new journalism, called nonfiction, which deals with the genre of the chronicle , the majority journalistic tendency was based on an objective approach, so that the facts were told as they happened in reality . The new trend started to treat the news with a literary dimension where the prose was not depersonalized, but the chronicler is the one who is part of the story. New Journalism
The chronicler discloses facts that he experienced and tells from his personal perspective. His point of view is totally free and does not pretend to be an impartial observer who tells the facts in a dispassionate way.
The journalistic chronicle addresses universal issues of the human condition projected on a concrete reality related to the historical present.
In general lines, the chroniclers who are part of this current carry out an exhaustive journalistic investigation and the final report presents a literary tone similar to the traditional novel.
Background in Latin America
It is considered that the Cuban José Martí, in the 19th century, was one of the pioneers of New Journalism. In his work for the Argentine newspaper La Nación, he published several chronicles about the Charleston earthquake, in 1886, in the United States, with a new narrative style that combined journalism’s own objectivity and literary sensibility. During the same period, Nicaraguan writer Rubén Darío was sent to Spain by the newspaper La Nación as a correspondent to describe the upheaval of Spanish society after the loss of the last colonies in Latin America. New Journalism
Exponents of New Journalism in the United States
American writers Tom Wolfe and Truman Capote, in the 1960s, are the fathers of this new journalistic trend. The first one mixes reality and fiction in its reports and describes all kinds of characters in American society as if they were part of a fictional story. The second rose to fame with the novel “The Cold Blood”, an account based on the murder of a family in a rural population of Kansas. New Journalism
To write this novel, Truman Capote interviewed the perpetrators of the crime in order to learn about their deepest mental mechanisms. The novel has been labeled a “Non-Fiction Novel” and is rated by critics as a model of New Journalism.