Sunday Salon: Mass Society and New Journalism

by Kim on October 5, 2008 · 7 comments

The Sunday I didn’t really read much yesterday — I was having too much fun exploring Madison and staying in to watch the prime-time Wisconsin-Ohio State football game.  Sadly, the game ended in a very, very disappointing fourth quarter loss (20-17).  Top that with the Wisconsin band being indefinitely suspended for allegations of hazing, it just hasn’t been a good weekend for the Badgers.

In any case, today I’ve had to sit my butt down and get some work done.  I’ve been slogging through three articles about journalism and mass society after WWII — mostly articles criticizing previous academic conceptions of what “mass society” really means.  Yes, it is as boring as it sounds.  Usually I really like my readings for this class — my post about book blogging and the penny press was inspired by stuff we were reading about a month ago — but today I just can’t seem to get through it.  Hence, I decided to take a break and write up my Sunday Salon post.

I have another book to read later that I am enjoying a lot more.  The Gang That Wouldn’t Write Straight by Marc Weingarten is a profile/history of the New Journalism movement of the 1960s.  New Journalism is one of those movements that gets talked about all the time, but until I started this book I didn’t really know a lot of the specifics about it.  Really though, New Journalism isn’t well-defined by anyone, so even sitting down to write a book about it had to be difficult because no one really knows what it even means.

Anyway, TGTWWS is set up as a series of profiles about important New Journalism figures, but also does a good job (so far anyway) of contextualizing the movement in time and space.  This book is interesting and easy to read, so I’m looking forward to getting back to it as a reward for finishing up the much more boring articles I still don’t have done.

I also found a great quote this week that I wanted to share:

Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.

– Mark Victor Hansen

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