The Journalist and the Murderer Essay

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In the following review, Stimpson discusses the thesis of The Journalist and the Murderer and some of the cases presented within, finding Malcolm "smartly aware of the impurities of nonfiction."

The Journalist and the Murderer is a slim book that has raised a hefty ruckus because of its chilly thesis: "The journalist must do his work in a ... deliberately induced state of moral anarchy ... [an] unfortunate occupational hazard." To get information, a journalist must gain access to people. To write up this information, he must betray their faith in him as a good buddy and sympathetic publicist. Journalism is a rough trade that trades off human solidarity for the chance to craft a powerful likeness of reality. Trado, ergo sum, not Cogito, ergo sum or even Scribo, ergo sum, is its existential slogan. In brief, the journalist must become a kind of murderer.

Journalists have endured harsher opprobrium...

(read more from the Critical Essay #2 section)

This section contains 2,372 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Journalist and the Murderer Study Guide
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