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    Overheard on the Web, and other Web links
    From The Herald's Research Editor

    Monday, February 21, 2005

    Gonzo death 

    (I'm adding new things to the bottom of this posting, so scroll down.)
    Shocking news of the suicide of Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson; the New York Times has assembled collections of stories, an obituary and book reviews (registration may be required). Yahoo News, always fast on the draw with links to Web sites and news from around the country, has a Hunter S. Thompson page up with links, including to the Aspen Time report of the death (Thompson's hometown paper), and ESPN's collection of his stories for them.

    The reactions are just starting to come in, but here's one from JD Lasica that I think expresses what many feel about Thompson:
      "As my friend Kevin suggests, Thompson was in some ways a forerunner of the We Media movement.
      Yeah, he was known for gonzo journalism, but when you strip it down, it was about the idea that anyone with a typewriter, a modicum of reporting talent and the gumption to ask the hard questions could be a reporter. Tom Wolfe, Gay Talese, Jimmy Breslin and others dressed it up in fancier clothes and called it "the new journalism," but the idea was that journalistic objectivity was pretty much bullshit, that the writer was very much a part of the story he was covering -- a notion that is now a core precept of the blogosphere."

    The Guardian also makes the point, saying:
      "...the death of Hunter S Thompson may be raising a discreet smile or two among the world's journalism lecturers. For while the great "gonzo journalist" was responsible for some of the most influential American writing of the 70s, he also spawned generations of campus newspaper wannabes who - to the despair of their mentors - never saw that Thompson was a unique product of his own talent and chutzpah, and of the age in which he did his best work."

    The Guardian also cites the Wikipedia entry on Thompson, which apparently called him 'the grandfather of the blogging movement', although that statement seems to have been edited out now.

    posted by liz at 10:00 AM
    Comments: Post a Comment

    Elisabeth Donovan

    Elisabeth (Liz) Donovan was a Herald librarian for 10 years, and Research Editor for 13 years. She came to The Herald in 1981, following several years at the Washington Post. She started blogging in 2000, with a news research blog, followed by the blog at in 2003. A frequent speaker and writer on news research, she was honored in 2004 by the News Division of the Special Libraries Association for her contributions to the field.

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