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The Journalist and the Murderer Summary
Janet Malcolm

Everything you need to understand or teach The Journalist and the Murderer by Janet Malcolm.

  • The Journalist and the Murderer Summary & Study Guide

The Journalist and the Murderer Summary

Introduction

Over the decades, Janet Malcolm has built a reputation for herself as a journalist who does not shy away from raising unpleasant topics. Whether tackling psychology, literature, or the criminal justice system, Malcolm's frankness and controversial opinions have often placed her outside the journalistic community. In an article in Salon, Craig Seligman, an admirer of her work, readily acknowledged that "Malcolm is hard on her subjects.

Malcolm's The Journalist and the Murderer first appeared as an article in the New Yorker in 1989 and the following year, along with an appended afterword, it was published as a book. This extended essay dealt with journalistic ethics by focusing on the libel suit that a convicted murderer brought against writer Joe McGinniss for breach of faith. It sent shockwaves among members of the press. While Seligman asserted that The Journalist and the Murderer is "the masterpiece that permanently tied the noose around...

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