Here’s how it ends:
Luke and Leia are twins!
The bad guy is his father! And the cute little kid grows up to be ...
Rosebud is his sled! (AND a Horcrux.)
Uncle Vernon wakes up in bed with Suzanne Pleshette and says, “Honey, you won’t believe the dream I just had ....”
But seriously. I’m not going to post anything to give away the ending of Book 7. For one thing, I don’t know what happens, and I’m not going looking. As you probably know, some people have posted online supposed pages that have been photographed – which may or may not be authentic. Here’s a link to an article about that.
It will spoil the fun for me if I know in advance. (But as many of you have noticed, I figure anything that happened in Book 6 or previous books is fair game. After all, it’s been two years since HBP.)
Two of the biggest Potter fan sites, MuggleNet.com and The Leaky Cauldron swear they’re not going to post any spoilers and will try to make life miserable for anyone who does.
But is it news?
Believe it or not, newspaper journalists take ethical issues seriously. So here’s an ethical question:
If J.K. Rowling has killed off Harry Potter in “Deathly Hallows,” is that news? And if so, should newspapers report it on Saturday, July 21? Or should they withhold the information from their readers (who are surely hearing it on TV and radio) because it will spoil the book for the huge majority of interested people who won’t have had time to read 784 pages between midnight and when the newspaper arrives?
It’s even been a topic of discussion at the Poynter Institute, a journalism think tank in St. Petersburg, Fla. Here’s a link to audio of an interview between Poynter’s Al Tompkins, who specializes in online and broadcast issues, and the institute’s Bob Steele, who teaches ethics issues.
Now, what newspapers decide to do and what Fox News or WBT radio or CNN decide to do often are entirely different. You think of it as “the media,” but we who work in it know that we make all kinds of decisions, and other news outlets make other decisions.
What should the Observer and Charlotte.com do, if the news gets out about how the story ends?
Jeri Fisher Krentz, the Observer’s book editor, told me Tuesday that in the book review the Observer will publish Saturday, she’ll edit out anything giving away the plot.
But what about a day later? Two days later? How long before the newspaper should reveal details?
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Posted by Mary Newsom at 2:28 PM