Topics: Hunter S. Thompson, Gonzo journalism, Journalism Pages: 2 (527 words) Published: March 29, 2007
What Is Gonzo?

‘Gonzo' journalism is what Hunter S. Thompson has been famous for ever since ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.' However, ‘ Fear and Loathing' itself is a hybrids- "It's reportage, It's fiction… What is it? It's Gonzo!" Consulting the nearest dictionary at hand which happens to be the ‘Macquarie Australia's National Dictionary', located near my left foot, Gonzo isn't even mentioned. Not even under the ‘journalism' entry. Wikipedia describes Gonzo as a style of reportage, filmmaking or any form of multimedia production in which the creator is intrinsically enmeshed with the subject action, rather than being a passive observer. The term ‘Gonzo' is often misattributed to Hunter S Thompson, but it was first coined by ‘Boston Globe' reporter, Bill Cardoso who after first reading the infamous Scanlan Monthly article in issue one, appropriately titled ‘The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved.' Cardoso proclaimed "That is pure Gonzo!" according to Cardoso; ‘Gonzo' is south Boston Irish slang describing the last man standing after a drinking marathon. The term has now come to take on a broader term used to describe generally any writing that is broadly similar to Thompson's writing, which is characterized by a drug fuelled stream of consciousness* technique. Central to Gonzo Journalism is the notion that journalism can be more truthful without strict observation of the traditional rules of factual reportage*. Gonzo journalism argues that journalism can be truthful without thriving for objectivity. It favors style over accuracy and aims to describe personal experiences or the essence or mood of things rather than facts.

"Gonzo journalism is a style of reporting based in William Faulkner's idea that the best fiction is far ‘more true' than any kind of journalism- and the best journalists have always known this. Which is not to say that fiction is necessarily ‘more true' than journalism- or vice versa- but that both ‘fiction' and ‘journalism' are...
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