Diane Winston is the Knight Chair in Media and Religion at the USC Annenberg School for Communication. She
is also would have been my primary advisor for the Specialized Journalism program I’ll be I would have been attended. Last month on her blog, The Scoop ( which I’ll be writing for come fall), she introduced Jeff Sharlet’s book, The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power. (Sharlet is creator of The Revealer.) I look forward to reading Sharlet’s book for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is Diane’s review of it. Here’s the part I cut and pasted into a Word document on my desktop:
This book deserves to be read by every and any journalist. It’s a primer for what reporting can and should be. Sharlet weaves first hand reportage with historical research and archival work. He connects dots, sees the big picture, and finds the telling detail. He is neither balanced nor objective, but a mainstream media whose guiding principle is not to offend can overrate those qualities. Hewing to an older journalistic tradition of speaking truth to power, Sharlet is not afraid to be offensive. His compelling story seeks to upset and unsettle in the best tradition of muckraking reporters.
Love it. Down with vanilla journalism!
Update: I withdrew from the program before the first semester because of my son’s death.