Informed consent

Featured in

  • Published 20120306
  • ISBN: 9781921922008
  • Extent: 264 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

‘Every journalist who is not too stupid or too full of himself to notice what is going on knows that what he does is indefensible. He is a kind of confidence man, preying on people’s vanity, ignorance, or loneliness, gaining their trust and betraying them without remorse. Like the credulous widow who wakes up one day to find the charming young man and all her savings gone, so the consenting subject of a piece of non-fiction writing learns – when the article or book appears – his hard lesson. Journalists justify their treachery in various ways according to their temperaments. The more pompous talk about freedom of speech and the “public’s right to know”; the least talented talk about Art; the seemliest murmur about earning a living.’

– Janet Malcolm, The Journalist and the Murderer (1990)

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About the author

Michael Gawenda

In a career spanning three decades Michael Gawenda has won numerous journalism awards, including three Walkley Awards.He is the author of American Notebook: A...

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