This kind of journalism requires, I believe, a somewhat different ethical stance for journalists. In classic journalism, it’s the reader who is identified as what media ethicist Stephen Bates calls the “client” — the person the journalist is serving above those he is writing about and above those who employ him. That makes sense because the institution of American journalism is justified and protected by the First Amendment, which is meant to serve neither journalists nor subjects but the public interest. Yet when writing about the intimate lives of ordinary people, I believe journalists must adopt a hybrid ethical outlook closer to the one Bates says anthropologists use when writing about their normally ordinary subjects: “The anthropologist must do everything within his power to protect their physical, social and psychological welfare and to honor their dignity and privacy.”
Journals, photographs , textbooks , travel books , blueprints , and diagrams are also often considered non-fictional. [ citation needed ] Including information that the author knows to be untrue within any of these works is usually regarded as dishonest. Other works can legitimately be either fiction or nonfiction, such as journals of self-expression, letters , magazine articles, and other expressions of imagination. Though they are mostly either one or the other, it is possible for there to be a blend of both. Some fiction may include nonfictional elements. Some nonfiction may include elements of unverified supposition , deduction , or imagination for the purpose of smoothing out a narrative , but the inclusion of open falsehoods would discredit it as a work of nonfiction. The publishing and bookselling business sometimes uses the phrase "literary nonfiction" to distinguish works with a more literary or intellectual bent, as opposed to the greater collection of nonfiction subjects.