N journalism and media ethics
Kellogg, on the other hand, an inveterate alsoran and acolyte, has much to learn about how the media works and about his own ambitions. Barba teaches him that what he really wants is to be popular, not famous.
As always, Shriver’s ideas are interesting and timely, even 14 years after the fact. The integrity of the media, particularly of news reporting and the media’s complicity in the creation of news, certainly warrants investigation today as much as ever. Shriver explores the notion of the news story as postmodern construct with wit and intelligence and raises questions that resist easy answers. Unfortunately, many readers who are likely to be engaged by her ideas will quickly tire of the unlikely premise, corny humour and predictable plot turns of the cumbersome story that carries them. While it seems unfair to use her own work against her, Shriver seems a far more accomplished writer in her later written but earlier published work. Liam Davison is a Melbourne based novelist and critic.
Lionel Shriver works from a simple premise to explore topical ideas