Ethics, trust and the first person in the narration of long-form journalism

Tulloch, J. (2014) Ethics, trust and the first person in the narration of long-form journalism. Journalism, 15 (5). pp. 629-638. ISSN 1464-8849

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Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive


The use of the first-person narrator is one of the rhetorical devices that distinguishes literary journalism with its qualities of immediacy, intimacy and spontaneity in the pursuit of truth-telling. But how do the particular qualities of the narrator’s style relate to specific effects and what are the differences between an ‘implied’ and a ‘dramatised’ narrator? Through the writings of British columnist and author, Ian Jack, and through the work of the late Gitta Sereny, this article explores how these qualities convey different meanings and whether one appears more authentic (and therefore, more ethical) than the other. While Jack employs a witness narrative, reflecting and analysing the impact of the subject upon him, Sereny’s narrator is more distanced, a technique employed to address difficult moral issues. Through these examples, the article asks how writers can avoid the inherent danger that self-revelation will collapse the distinction between the creation and creator.

Keywords:Ian Jack, Gitta Sereny, First-person narrator, Implied narrator, Dramatised narrator, oaopen, NotOAChecked
Subjects:P Mass Communications and Documentation > P500 Journalism
Divisions:College of Arts > School of English & Journalism > School of English & Journalism (Journalism)
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ID Code:13825
Deposited On:06 May 2014 09:30

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