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Literary Journalism is the least developed form of modern literature. It lacks a precisedefinition, a common description, a canon and an academic home. Without these conventions,literary journalism has become a bastard form, rejected by both the disciplines from which it wasderived. This study addresses these deficiencies by applying mass communication and literarytheories to the form to derive a definition and identify the essential elements of the form. Thestudy includes a comprehensive review of the scholarship and the analysis of a dozen booksgenerally classified as literary journalism. The study found that the original intent of the authorswho pioneered the form was to create journalism that read like fiction. Modern literaryjournalism has moved away from this founding definition and the form has become so nebulousthat it has little hope of gaining academic credibility. This study suggests returning to the formÕsoriginal definition and creating a new scholarship.