The ‘I’ in Journalism

Posted: February 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

Nilanjana Roy on How to be a journalist.

This is an interesting perspective: whether journalists must remain invisible while producing their stories. Roy talks about how Katherine Boo’s work defies the general trend that ‘I’ is everywhere.  It is a good professional habit and culture to inculcate for long form reporting – to remain absent from your story.

I was just talking to a scientist friend of mine at the NIH, in D.C., about The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. While the book is an astonishing effort in science journalism, one gets the feeling, that there is way too much stuff about the author in the book. Do we really need to know about the tribulations the author faced while writing the book?  (For sure, as a journalist, I liked to read about the way Skloot was persistent and the very real challenges she faced in getting the Lacks’ family to talk.) But for a regular reader, I don’t think it matters.

I have not read Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers, but I take Roy’s word for it.

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Comments
  1. adityash says:

    There is some advertising of Mercedes Benz on it which is the only other color i see except red on Black and White 😛
    Go colour Priti!!! First song that came to my mind was Bandeh (Indian Ocean) and movie also came to mind Black Friday. I don’t know the link but neurons threw that.

    Pretty interesting I was reading reviews of Katherine Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity as well. Will pick it up once i’m done with iQ84.. from Tokyo to Mumbai in snowy snowy Europe and all khyaali pulao.

    Will follow further your site.. ok this not Twit/FB follow please. 🙂
    I can see holidays worked on something. Cool work.

  2. suthram says:

    An interesting point you raise. I am not a journalist and as much as I may not find an author’s struggles interesting, such divergent thoughts may help put the perspective in better context. However, based on one’s interpretation, it may appear to be more tangential than divergent.

    Geek out Guru
    Pradeep

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