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Global Literary Journalism

Exploring the Journalistic Imagination, Volume 2

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Edited By Richard Lance Keeble and John Tulloch

Following on from the first volume published in 2012, this new volume significantly expands the scope of the study of literary journalism both geographically and thematically.
Chapters explore literary journalism not only in the United Kingdom, the United States and India – but also in countries not covered in the first volume such as Australia, France, Brazil and Portugal, while its central themes help lead the study of literary journalism into previously unchartered territory. More focus is placed on the origins of literary journalism, with chapters exploring the previously ignored journalism of writers such as Myles na gCopaleen, Marguerite Duras, Mohatma Gandhi, Leigh Hunt, D. H. Lawrence, Mary McCarthy and Evelyn Waugh.
Critical overviews of African American literary journalism in the 1950s and of literary journalism in Brazil from 1870 to the present day are also provided, and a section asks whether there is a specific women’s voice in literary journalism.
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18. “Long-Form Journalism Is Absolutely Not Dead. What Is Dead Is Bad Long-Form”

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CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

“Long-Form Journalism IS Absolutely NOT Dead. What IS Dead IS Bad Long-Form”

SUSIE EISENHUTH



INTRODUCTION

In recent years with the traditional media struggling for a toehold in the shape-shifting digital environment, doomsayers have been predicting not just the death of journalism but the demise of the long read altogether. This chapter argues that as quality long-form journalism adapts to the new digital landscape, the situation recalls Mark Twain famously protesting that reports of his death had been exaggerated.

It reflects on the universal appeal – and crucial role – of serious long-form journalism, the kind of literary journalism that both makes its mark as literature and contributes to a more nuanced public debate on ideas and events, political and social issues. With writers, editors and producers continuing to master the online maze and its multi-platform options, wherever space is ultimately carved out online for quality literary journalism, that crucial role is set to continue.

LONG-FORM RESPONDS TO THE ONLINE CHALLENGE

In 2009, two forums about features and book-length journalism were staged at the Sydney Writers’ Festival with a distinguished line-up of top Australian journalists and writers. The forums were devised by this author in what was, to be honest, a nose-thumbing spirit of “So there!” The idea was to celebrate excellence in journalism and to underline the continuing role of quality in-depth journalism – longform journalism as it had come to be...

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