How Personal Essays Conquered Journalism

By Eve Fairbanks, The Washington Post, October 10, 2014

My Life as a Little Person.” “I Still Dreamed of the Abuser I Once Thought of as My Father.” “I Understand Why Westerners Are Joining Jihadist Movements. I Was Almost One of Them.”

They’re everywhere these days: stories along the formula “I Am an X, and Y Happened to Me!” These kind of confessional articles long constituted the barbarians lurking around the gates of traditional newspaper culture, appearing on XOJane or blogs or niche columns like Modern Love, while the serious journalistic real estate remained dominated by authority figures like Larry Summers or Aaron David Miller pontificating on the economy or Israel-Palestine.

Now, though, they’re in the citadel. Read more ...