This paper examines Rolling Stone magazine’s first extensive foray into political journalism during the presidential race between George McGovern and Richard Nixon. It examines the ways in which the magazine’s reporters, especially Hunter S. Thompson and Timothy Crouse, used the techniques of narrative journalism to perform the relatively traditional journalistic task of covering an election. The Rolling Stone reporters’ portrayals of their contemporaries in the mainstream press receive particular attention. This reportage represents one of the earliest and most comprehensive uses of the narrative approach to political journalism. It also represents an early example of “meta-coverage,” identified by several scholars as the current tendency of media to focus coverage of politics on themselves and other media rather than on the campaign itself.
Recommended CitationDunn, S., Rolling Stone's coverage of the 1972 U.S. presidential election: A case study of narrative political journalism, Asia Pacific Media Educator, 18, 2007, 31-43.