Milena Rampoldi, ProMosaik: What is gonzo journalism and what does it mean to you personally?
Kit O’Connell: Hunter S. Thompson, author of “Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas,” and many other books, coined the term “gonzo journalism,” but the practice goes back much further. A great example of an early gonzo journalist is Nelly Bly, who had herself committed to a mental hospital in 1887 to expose the horrific treatment of patients. Ken Kesey is another famous practitioner, though what he practiced was a variation called “New Journalism.”
Gonzo journalism is journalism which rejects the idea of neutrality and objectivity. I consider myself an activist first and a journalist second, even though it’s the journalism that pays my bills and lets me continue my activism. For me, journalism is a way to reveal important truths and try to share the knowledge that we need to build a better, more humane world.