Non-Fiction · Theresa F

The Journalist and the Murderer | by Janet Malcolm

The Journalist and the Murderer

The Journalist and the Murderer by Janet Malcolm
(Granta Books, 2004, 163 pages)

I rarely read nonfiction, but I’ve been obsessed with a podcast called Serial (from This American Life, it’s not too late to catch up) which is a 12-part series of podcasts that are looking into all aspects of a murder case from 1999. In the podcast Sarah Koenig (the journalist) speaks with Adnan Syed (convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend in high school) and generally investigates what happened in 1999. So because I’m obsessed, I read everything I can about Serial and one article recommended the book The Journalist and the Murderer by Janet Malcolm. Malcolm looks into the relationship between a journalist and their subject by writing about what happened when convicted murderer Jeffery MacDonald sues the author Joe McGinniss, who wrote a book about his case called Fatal Vision. It’s a short book and she kind of broadens her subject about the lawsuit into an examination of the ethics involved in the relationship that forms between a journalist and the subject they are writing about. The first sentence of the book is striking and often quoted, “Every journalist who is not too stupid or too full of himself to notice what is going on knows that what he does is morally indefensible.”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s