Insights about “ghostwriting”

8 / 26 / 2011

Ghostwritten op-eds: truth or deception?

By Susan Matthews, APR, principal

Dan Gillmor, an editor at The Guardian, argues that the ghostwritten op-ed is “an unacceptable deception.” I beg to differ.

If you follow two simple rules, there is no deception.

  • The ideas must be the ideas of the person whose byline appears.
  • The person whose byline appears must review and approve – completely own – the content of the op-ed.

That said, sometimes the actual writing is best left to professional writers. When? When the bylined author does not have time to craft a clear, persuasive piece. Or, when writing is not the opinion leader’s strength.

To me, it’s that simple.

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