Hardly a Dying Art: The Flourishing of Print News in Literary Journalism Books
While most media scholars are turning their attention toward virtual means of communication, few individuals or research organizations have taken notice of new developments related to physical forms of news in print. The increasing popularity of socially and politically relevant literary journalism books like Barbara Ehrenreich s Nickel and Dimed (2001) and Tracy Kidder s Mountains Beyond Mountains (2003) is a journalistic trend that has been largely viewed from a literary perspective and only minimally examined by news media scholars or experts. This thesis seeks to bridge the chasm between literary examinations of literary journalism books and scholarship on contemporary mass media, by highlighting socially and politically relevant literary journalism books as a form of powerful and influential communications media. Though these books contain literary and subjective elements like first-person perspective, they also share a number of important characteristics with modern-day mainstream print news, making them a hybrid media form. Through an examination of bibliographic, textual and literary characteristics of Ehrenreich s Nickel and Dimed and Kidder s Mountains Beyond Mountains, I demonstrate that the books definitions and functions are intrinsically connected to those of traditional American print news. In addition, I utilize the media effects theory and methodology of uses and gratifications in order to guide and analyze original focus group and survey research. This approach enables a unique comparison between individuals understandings of and reactions to Nickel and Dimed and Mountains Beyond Mountains with their uses and gratifications of mainstream print news media. Ultimately, this thesis not only provides evidence that socially and politically relevant literary journalism books represent a flourishing genre of print news, but also identifies characteristics and qualities of the books that may be valuable for future scholarship.
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Discovering Everyday Life: Representation, Ethics, and Transatlantic Convergence in Contemporary Literary Journalism in Spain Zujevic, Jovana (Georgetown University, 2016)This thesis looks at the interrelation between literary journalism in contemporary Spain, or periodismo de arte in Francisco Umbral’s words, and everyday life. Specifically I examine how weekly newspaper columns by fiction ...