The Perils of Covering Porn


| July 18, 2001


The Perils of Covering Porn, Emmanuelle Richard, Online Journalism Review
A reporter doing a story on the porn industry has more to contend with than blushing and raised eyebrows. According to Emmanuelle Richard, writing in the Online Journalism Review, myths, exaggerated figures, and outright lies are a few of the pitfalls awaiting a journalist venturing into the seedy jungles of Hollywood's darker cousin. This is particularly relevant at a time when much attention is being lavished on the porn industry and its alleged robust survival among the dot-com wreckage. First, there's the inflated claims of the industry's size (imagine that). Depending on the fuzzy math you choose to quote, the industry rakes in anywhere from $500 million to $14 billion a year online. Equally fuzzy are claims that the porn biz survived the dot-com bust unscathed, Richard writes. In all, porn is an enigmatic monster to anyone not directly involved. As one former Hustler employee put it, 'both Norman Mailer and Hunter Thompson have flirted with the idea of writing about the (porn) industry and given up. If those two titans can't do it, no one--except an insider--can.'
--Al Paulson
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