From the mid-1960s onward, music journalism increasingly revealed the profound influence of the emerging New Journalism movement. Spearheaded by color-supplement and magazine writers such as Tom Wolfe and Hunter S. Thompson and novelists such as Norman Mailer and Truman Capote, the New Journalism undertook to take journalism out of the realm of mere ‘dry’ reporting of facts by utilizing many of the stylistic components of fiction. Its conventions had an important influence on style and content, as well as on the construction of the image of the journalist within music (especially rock) journalism. Stylistic traits pioneered by the new journalists, such as scene-by-scene construction, third-person point of view, recording of everyday detail and the inclusion of the persona of the journalist within the text, were appropriated by US and UK music critics from the end of the 1960s. The fact that many new journalists explicitly created a new cultural agenda that treated popular culture as worthy of serious analysis has also been attributed to the influence of the New Journalism. For example, Tom Wolfe, writing in 1966, makes clear that the subject matter of much of his writing constitutes a definite shift in aesthetic boundaries:
The educated classes, the people who grow up to control visual and printed communication media, are all plugged into what is … an ancient, aristocratic aesthetic. The Jerk, the Monkey and rock music still seem beneath serious consideration. Yet all these rancid people are creating new styles all the time and changing the life of the whole country in ways that nobody even seems to bother to record, much less analyse. (Wolfe 1981, 12)
Significantly, this evolution in writing style occurred at the same time as mainstream rock music began to take itself more seriously, with the incorporation of art and folk aesthetics into the genre. Subsequent journalistic criticism began to reflect and reinforce this position.