Pacific Media Centre Pacific Media Watch Pacific Journalism Review Pacific Scoop

Review: Searching for the truth of book-length journalism

Telling True Stories cover

Volume 21, Issue 2

October, 2015

From page
to page
Mason, Bonita. (2015). Searching for the truth of book-length journalism. Pacific Journalism Review, 21(2): 200-203. Review of Telling True Stories: Navigating the challenges of writing narrative non-fiction, by Matthew Ricketson. Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 2014. 282pp. ISBN 978-1-742379-35-7
Author(s): Bonita Mason
Reviewed book by Matthew Ricketson
Publication date: 
October, 2015

Australian journalism academic and practitioner Matthew Ricketson’s new book opens with two quotes: one from South African writer Nadine Gordimer on the enduring presence of ‘beauty’ in the quest for truth; the other from US comparative literature professor Peter Brooks on the impossibility of separating our own humanity and imaginations from what we write. Gordimer has also written elsewhere of the writer’s responsibility, as a social being, to take part in their world through their writing—to become ‘more than a writer’ (1985, p. 141). The kind of writing Ricketson seeks to define, and describes, analyses and advocates in this book (much of which is also investigative), comes closest to meeting these roles and responsibilities for the non-fiction writer.