Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Gay Telese, one of America's greatest story tellers

For those of you who like to write you're probably always looking for ways to get better. Sometimes you might experience writer's block or you're in search of that next great idea. Maybe you're just an aspiring journalist who wants to get better and you're willing to spend the time researching and studying the great masters to refine and perfect your craft. Gay Telese, a former New York Times reporter is a writer who some say invented literary journalism.  As you can on the right hand side of my blog page I'm currently reading The Kingdom and the Power by Telese.  This book is an inside look at the most prestigious and most powerful newspaper of all American newspapers, The New York Times. Telese now writes for The New Yorker.  I think you might like taking a look at how Telese takes notes and how he refuses to use a tape recorder. Check out this video.


  1. This guy has been a reporter for so long he has it down to an exact science--and it has obviously worked for 70+ years. What I found most intriguing is having a "bunker" that is distraction-free. I often find myself refreshing my Twitter feed, liking an Instagram photo, etc. when I should be productive. I'm going to start going into "lock-down mode" when working on a story.

    Also, the very idea of not having a recorded interview freaks me out. This is most likely due to the fact that I have grown up in an era where technology has always been available to me, unlike Telese. I do agree, however, that jotting down notes makes you more engaged in your conversation. Perhaps I'll give this a try...

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  3. This man is a character and a very interesting one at that! Although I could never see myself utilizing file folders or organizing information in chronological order, I appreciate the fact that he does and the reason behind it. The reason being that "a story never dies." One of my favorite parts of journalism is the interviewing aspect and after being on staff for a year, I already can't name every person I interviewed. Does this mean my past stories are dead? I don't know but maybe to prevent this murder I should attempt some of his peculiar techniques.