by J. Nathan Matias
The following hypertext floats on top of a large body of first-hand research. You may go as deep as you like into my research and conclusions, or you can just read the main article linearly.
To explore my research of museums, nonfiction books, and film documentary, select an option on one of the sides. Otherwise, keep reading.
Funny things are happening in nonfiction. The following are in no particular order...
- The world seems to be becoming more and more politicized.
- Once considered the genre for true and unbelievable stories, nonfiction is being shortened to the realm of the mere unbelievable. The distinctions between fiction and nonfiction seem to be thinning, leading to confusion when history becomes important.
- Laziness? Sensationalism? Or rhetoric?
- At historical societies and research libraries, the archivists are beginning to expect researches to use scanning or digital photography equipment to take their own digital prints.
- Massive numbers of archives and records are daily being digitized and placed on the web for easy access.
- The BBC is opening up its content library. Will other organizations follow?
- Blogs and storytelling sites like Fray.com are democratizing nonfiction. But on the web, it's so hard to tell who's telling the truth.
- Blogs are showing us the difficulties in defining the difference between fiction and nonfiction. Some people say it doesn't matter.
- Primary research seems to be a prerequisite to effective encounters with the news, both online and offline.
- People like a good debate.
- People like a good story.
- Emphasis on personal narrative and memoir seems to be lowering the research quality standard in nonfiction works.
- Two words: Reality TV
- Film documentary is becoming interactive through the efforts of PBS, The History Channel, and the Australian Broadcasting Company
- Michael Moore
So, does it concern you?