A good wheelwright viernes, 29 de noviembre de 2013

Do you consider yourself a "literary journalist"?
No. I'm a smith. I occupy the position in our society that a good wheelwright would have occupied in his. Making wheels is a highly specialized skill. I don't consider myself to be an artist, I consider myself to be a skilled workman.

Richard Ben Cramer, citado en Robert S. Boynton (ed.), The New New Journalism, New York, Vintage, 2005, p. 36

Storytelling mode lunes, 25 de noviembre de 2013

Do you discuss your work-in-progress with people?
I find that it helps a lot to talk to friends or editors immediately after I return from a reporting trip. It puts me in storytelling mode. Even though I'm less preoccupied with producing a seamless narrative than I used to be, I do feel that narrative energy is crucial to distinguish a story from a research report. When you are telling a story to a live human being you get a sense, immediately, of what people respond to. It gets you outside your own head. And often people ask questions that I haven't thought of –questions that force me to look at the reporting in a new way.

Ron Rosenbaum, citado en Robert S. Boynton (ed.), The New New Journalism, New York, Vintage, 2005, p. 336

Shit, he's talked to everybody miércoles, 20 de noviembre de 2013

Once you've got access, how do you get people to open up to you?
One way I get them to talk is show them the lengthy list of the other people I've talked to. Even hardened FBI agents get wide-eyed when they see how many names are there. They think, "Shit, he's talked to everybody!" It softens them up a little. First, because they respect me for the effort I've made. And, second, they feel it's pointless to hide anything from me, because somebody else is going to tell me anyway. It's a visual aid that lets people know I'm on the case, and that I'm not likely to be shaken off it.

Lawrence Wright, citado en Robert S. Boynton (ed.), The New New Journalism, New York, Vintage, 2005, p. 443

None of that ever deters anyone lunes, 18 de noviembre de 2013

You become so deeply involved with your subjects. How do you manage to maintain enough distance to write about them?
The writer-subject relationship is always fraught with thorny complications. Janet Malcolm's book, The Journalist and the Murderer, should be a required text in all schools of journalism. Her first line –"Every journalist who is not too stupid or too full of himself to notice what is going on knows that what he does is morally indefensible"– is intentionally harsh and provocative, but contains more truth than most journalists admit. The writer is a confidence man. The journalist never has any intention of telling the story your subject wants told. Your job is to tell the story as you see it. Once a subject has talked to you, he has surrendered all control. For my own conscience's sake, I try to begin almost every interview by quoting Malcolm's infamous first line. I tell the person I'm interviewing that he'll have no control over the process, that I won't show the article to him before publication, that he will tell me things he'll regret... and none of that ever deters anyone!

Jon Krakauer, citado en Robert S. Boynton (ed.), The New New Journalism, New York, Vintage, 2005, p. 167

Writing is always torture viernes, 15 de noviembre de 2013

Do you think yourself as practicing immersion journalism?
For some types of stories. Perhaps inundated or drowning journalism would be more accurate.

How do you conceive of your role as a reporter?
I guess I don't think of myself as a reporter. I think myself as a writer who needs to gather information in order to write. Having said that, I'm a pretty diligent reporter. I feel I like I was put on this world to be an observer, not an actor. I like to watch what other people do. My form of "action" is writing: creating something on the page. The paradox of my life, of course, is that although I think myself as a writer than a reporter, I enjoy the reporting much more than the writing.

It sounds as if your problems come during the writing more than during the reporting.
True. Writing is always torture. If I can avoid it by doing more reporting, I will.

Jonathan Harr, citado en Robert S. Boynton (ed.), The New New Journalism, New York, Vintage, 2005, p. 114