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When the Right to Know Confronts the Need to Know

Date: July 11, 2004
Author: Daniel Okrent
QUOTE: ...on the front page of the Arts section of The Times, I learned that Hendra may have committed the most unspeakable of acts...he did write a semi-confessional book about his own moral progress...Had his success, and the book's theme, made the most intimate details of his life a fair subject for public review?

ABSTRACT: The author is contemplating what the public has a right to know in reference to a story written in the New York Times Magazine of allegations that a best-selling novelist molested his young daughter. Was this story newsworthy enough to be published despite the novelist’s denials? The author weighs the pros and cons of such a controversial story and what the public ought to know or must know.

--- Sari Kent

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