Narrative journalism magazines, including The New Yorker and The New Republic in the United States, Granta in the United Kingdom, and The Caravan in India, feature non-fiction stories that are written the way novels are written. They are widely seen as examples of in-depth, mature and engaging journalism. So why have visual news media not adopted what could be called “cinematic journalism,” as visual storytelling happens arguably best in cinema?
When The Diplomat spoke to professionals in India’s Mumbai-based Hindi language film industry, Bollywood, they seemed divided on the need for visual narrative journalism. Some in the industry think it will give too much liberty and power to journalists. Others believe that similar arguments were raised against narrative journalism in text, also known as “new journalism” or “literary journalism,” in the 1960s and ’70s, but it has gradually gained readers’ trust.