Literary Journalism

Literary journalism is when artistic writing is inserted into a journalistic story to add value to a piece of writing. By allowing artistic creativity, literary journalism can tell a more robust story. Therefore, literary journalism is a genre of writing which incorporates a narrative prose with a little blur and exaggeration to relay a story.

Literary journalism is a medium of reaching out to the society through stories that would otherwise fail to be heard if the writing was done in a normal prose. Employing narrative and pretense is way more effective in calling to the attention of readers. Consider  two famous writers, Mike Daisey and John D’Agata. Both of them agree that the public prefers a well-crafted story and often this is a combination of facts and art (Myers, 2012). The result is literary journalism. The two share the common idea that is worth blurring facts to tell a much truer story that easily motivates the public. There are stories which cannot be told in exact to achieve a purpose. That is where literary journalism comes into play. Therefore, the basis for the style is to reach out to the world with a piece of information in a more appealing and effective way.

Journalists, particularly, know when to resort to literary journalism. Often, when the truth to be told is harsh, journalists opt for the genre of literary journalism to tell the stories. It is easy to confuse the act for pretense but that is not the case. While pretense erases all facts from an information, literary journalism merely coats the available story to meet the expectation of the society (Shaber,2014). However, the cases should not be taken to spread fake news. During use, a journalist is called upon to be certain to only include the truth, blur a few facts, but not change the story altogether. If this occurs, fake news is a result come with it. Therefore, the resort to literary journalism calls for maximum creativity.


Ernest Hemingway

Considerably, the genre has been neglected historically in certain parts of the world. Sometimes due to the laws of the land, and other times personal conscience that does not allow infringing of a subject’s truth. Despite this, there have been writers whose compositions are solely based in this genre including Norman Sims, Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck. The three employ mixed approaches and perspectives to reach out to the society on various thematic concerns. Through their works, a wide range of literary journalism is explored. While it is not easy to particularly conclude on the importance these essays accord, a look into some of Hemingway’s work: The Spanish Civil War Dispatch, rich insight for often overlooked writing is gained. Therefore, literary journalism remains an appropriate way to disseminate certain types of information.


Myers, D.G. (2012, May 4). Literary Journalism: What it is, what it is not. Retrieved December 6, 2017, from

Shaber, S. (2014). Hemingway’ Literary Journalism: The Spanish Civil War Dispatches. ERIC,34(5). Retrieved December 6, 2017, from

Image Attribution: The image used in this post is in the Public Domain.

Written by Zhiqian Glenn Wang, 2017.