The Perils of Covering Porn

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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