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Confessional journalism has become a staple of contemporary journalism, either in the form of first-person real-life experiences (often ghosted by journalists) or regular columns by journalists detailing intimate details of their lives. The form is now recognised as a distinct genre but what has not received attention, except as an internal debate within journalism itself, are the consequences of this form of writing for journalism and journalists. There is mounting evidence that editors are exerting pressure towards this form of writing, favouring particular types of writers. This review investigates the compelling ethical implications for writers and their subjects within the genre and argues that these implications are producing distinctive journalistic responses and strategies.
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Keywords: autobiographical journalism; confessional journalism; journalistic ethics; privacy; real people in media

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2010

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