In with the new new

04-08-05_image-1_thumb 1.jpgOn Tuesday a panel of writers parsed the “new new journalism” in a packed room at International House. As part of I-House’s Global Voices lecture series, Robert Boynton, Leon Dash, and Alex Kotlowitz came together to promote Boynton’s book, The New New Journalism: Conversations with America’s Best Nonfiction Writers on Their Craft (Vintage, 2005).

Pulling from personal experience, the trio illuminated new new journalism, which builds on the tradition of narrative nonfiction associated with Tom Wolfe and Norman Mailer while maintaining strict journalistic standards. For example, Dash talked about reporting a Pulitzer Prize–winning series on adolescent childbearing for the Washington Post (which formed the basis for Rosa Lee: A Mother and Her Family in Urban America [Plume Books, 1997]). The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign journalism professor explained that he tried to build a relationship with subjects that would allow him to get beyond their “public face.”

To help others get there, Boynton, director of NYU’s graduate magazine-journalism program, offers tips in his book including how practitioners like Dash and Wall Street Journal veteran Kotlowitz write, report, and organize their notes.

David King, AM’04


Alex Kotlowitz, Robert Boynton, and Leon Dash at International House.

April 8, 2005