Journal article

'Unpacking the complexities' of authorship on This American Life

Ashley Barnwell

CONTINUUM-JOURNAL OF MEDIA & CULTURAL STUDIES | ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD | Published : 2014

Abstract

Addressing questions about the ethics of genre and social processes of verification, this paper examines the popular radio podcast This American Life's recent, high-profile retraction of Mike Daisey's The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs. In his first-person monologue, Daisey seemingly recounts his confrontation with the horrific labour conditions of Shenzhen, China's manufacturing industry. However, Ira Glass, the programme's producer and host, subsequently disclaimed that Daisey had conflated and composed the most compelling details in the story, betraying the rules of genre. In the wake of this revelation, important questions about how the monologue came to be verified as a witness tes..

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