A story this week in The Age, Melbourne’s major daily newspaper, leaves me puzzled. I am not sure what the paper’s religion editor, Barney Zwartz is doing in his article “Ex-nun a cardinal sinner in the mind of the church”. Read at one level, it c0uld be a silly puff piece. Yet there are hints the story could have a deeper meaning—wheels within wheels—where The Age’s editorial voice is heard by its allowing the subject to impeach herself.
It also raises the philosophical question for journalists: to what extent may a person identify themselves? What shapes reality? The social construction given by the subject of a story, or an outside arbiter—an eternal truth, natural law, the AP style book?