The vibration of truth

The Secret World of Lonelygirl is a pretty interesting summary of much that happened with this YouTube phenom. But separate from that, a passage caught my interest.

When the show started in June with a two-minute YouTube posting by Bree — played by actress Jessica Rose — Flinders would rearrange his room after each shoot. He’d take down the pictures of Rose as a baby, stash the stuffed animals, and swap out the girly bedspread for his more masculine blue-and-white-striped blanket. Now, three months into the project and with hundreds of thousands of regular viewers, he doesn’t bother. It’s too much work, even though it has blown some great opportunities for him. Last week, he spotted his neighbors — two Playboy playmates — and invited them in. They glanced at his room, got suspicious, and quickly left.

That playmate bit…do you believe him? I don’t.

It reads strongly like bluster reported as fact.

I’ve done enough ethnographies over the years to know that often you can tell when someone is embellishing or making up a story. It’s fine that people do that; the goal as an ethnographer is try and filter for that; to try and understand why. But what about for a journalist? Do they have a sensitivity to veracity? For non-hard-news, do they have an ethical journalistic responsibility to question or seek corroboration? Or do they simply need to type into their story, presented as fact, whatever their subjects tell them?


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