Writing for your Audience and not Shitting Yourself

I think before people get on their J-School high horses about Savage not really being objective when trying to integrate into the Republican Party, they should take a step back and rethink the Savage's audience and purpose of his piece. It was not objective, traditional journalism. He went into the piece trying to make homophobic Republicans look bad. He writes a sex advice column for an alt weekly, so his audience leans far left. His intent was to entertain, garner some publicity, and ultimately, expose the hypocrisy of homophobic Republicans. I thought he did all of this very well.

Something that we read much earlier in the semester that has stuck with me, and frequently has come to mind when reading some of these stories, is Bryson's concept of not shitting yourself. If no one remembers, this was the story when Bryson partied with the soccer hooligans, and the hooligans all recall the last journalist who tried to document their revelry. That journalist ran away when 'it went off,' or, as the hooligans put it, that journalist shit himself, and probably failed to file a decent story.

Doing narrative journalism requires courage. Going into a hostile political environment and making a scene is something that not a lot of people would do. Savage had an idea, and he went out and did it, never once mentioning cold feet. Maybe he didn't think it was that big of a deal, maybe he gets off on that kind of stuff. Regardless, when a writer ventures far outside his comfort zone, doesn't shit himself, and comes away with a good story, I find it inspiring.

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This page contains a single entry by joh03149 published on April 26, 2010 9:59 PM.

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