Thursday, August 5, 2010

Hunter S Thompson

Hunter S. Thompson
By William LeBaron

While Hunter S. Thompson was an innovative and bold reporter; his refusal to conform to the status quo distinguished his approach to reporting from anyone before him, He was truly a pioneer in the field with his unique style, which came to be called Gonzo journalism.

His approach was different in the way that he immersed himself into the story to such an extent that he was actually a primary character in the story. This was best demonstrated during his writing of the book Hells Angels, (1966) in that he rode with the motorcycle gang for nearly a year to get the story. This nearly got him killed when the gang found out he was a reporter and thought he was trying to rat them out for the gangs long list of violent actions.

His approach to writing where articles in which the journalist was not just trying to report facts and figures, but to include in the piece the impressions and the perspectives gained from being there were revolutionary. This style was counter to the typical approach to journalism of the time, where the reporters were supposed to be unbiased, objective observers to an event.

Thompson traveled extensively in a successful effort to avoid applying what he called "'the man on the street' with his daily quotas of clich├ęs, gossip, and erotic type." This traveling took him to the all over the United States, as well as places like the Caribbean. His unique style of writing engineered the Gonzo Journalism movement and distinguishes his still influential writings today.

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