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Literary Journalism: What is literary journalism and history of literary Journalism?



Literary Journalism is also known as docufiction, immersion journalism, new journalism, narrative journalism or creative non-fiction. Literary Journalists immerse themselves in a subject’s world. Literary Journalists write information that take the form of reports but shape them in away that the report reads like a fiction.

Some of the writings that fall within the Genre of Literary Journalism include; Biography, Memoirs, Personal essays, Travel writing, Hybridized essays, and Food writing among others

There are different definitions of the Genre literary Journalism. Some of those definitions include;

  • Definition 1: Literary Journalism is a kind of nonfiction that makes use of factual reporting with narrative techniques related to those of fiction.
  • Definition 2: Literary Journalism is a mixture of literature and non-fiction
  • Definition 3: Literary journalism is a kind of journalism that asks the same questions as literature asks

Characteristics of Literary Journalism

  1. Written information chosen from a real world but not invented from the write’s mind. All that the writer writes has to be something that exists in the natural world
  2. The writer has to take into consideration of the scene
  3. The subject matter has to be well researched
  4. Accuracy has to be adhered to

 History of Literary Journalism

As indicated in John C. Hartsock’s book “A History of American Literary Journalism”, The roots of literary journalism can be traced as far back as the late 19 century during the American post-civil war  period. Journalists like Lincoln Steffens challenged the understanding that reporters were only supposed to write the “objective truth.” They began using the genre of “Literary Journalism” to describe about the state of the immigrantt and the poor.

If  you want t get a deep understanding of evolution  literary journalism, get a copy of John C. Hartsock’s  book available online for free.

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