The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes
Friday, October 29, 2004
The new journalism: the French have a word for it...
There's been silence radio for the last couple of days while I bone up a bit (Bush v Gore, Title 3, Article II, yadda, yadda, yadda...) for the legal armageddon that a close Electoral College would bring.
(Reluctantly, since past exercises in investing time in possible stories have been singularly fruitless: la révolution bolivienne n'eut pas lieu...)
Meanwhile, I serendipitously come across a word that comes in handy to describe much of what passes for journalism: romanquête. A portmanteau word of roman and enquête, or novel and investigation.
The term used by iconic French pundit  Bernard-Henri Lévy to describe his book Qui a tué Daniel Pearl ? seems apt to describe - to pick a name at random - the works of Uncle Bob Woodward: all that dialogue he 'reconstructs', the lack of footnotes... Or feature stuff like Peter Landesman's A Girl Next Door (much discussed here).
Giving respectability to the imaginative leap made in the cause of the larger truth, to make the bare bones of corroborated fact congenial for a general audience, to ensure the powerful don't escape censure on a technicality.
Lubrication for a slippery slope already slick with grease of moolah - not to mention the product of sanctimonious media onanism.
(BHL's star is waning, it seems; also here.)
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