Getting Personal: The Personal Essay in Print Journalism
Davis, Stephania Heather
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This thesis explores the use of the personal essay in newspapers and considers its potential to enrich newspaper journalism and perhaps retain - and even increase - readership in a time of declining circulation. Personal essay addresses the changing expectations of readers, who are increasingly demanding to know more about the people who are gathering and reporting the news. Writers also benefit from publishing personal essays, often becoming more empathetic journalists. This thesis also describes some of the early uses of personal essay in newspapers, reviews the roots of the concept of objectivity, which discourages journalists from writing in the first-person, and gives several recent examples of personal essays published, what the experience was like for the journalists who wrote them and readers' responses to them.