Monday, December 19, 2005

Journalist convinces child porn star to end career

From the Times's current series about the online child pornography trade, a new journalism piece that describes some pretty intense 'entanglement':
I came across entries about someone named Justin... and discovered a photograph of a boy who appeared to be about 14 years old.

...At The Times, it is standard practice for a reporter to identify himself at the outset, but doing that too soon would mean I might never know the truth. I decided to try to engage this person in conversation and persuade him to meet with me... I mimicked the tone of the members of the Yahoo site, simply identifying myself as a fan... Soon thereafter, I proposed meeting in Los Angeles, and Justin agreed.

...Over the next two days, I interviewed the person I now knew was Justin Berry. By then, I was aware that Justin was addicted to cocaine and marijuana. With no expectation that he would agree, I asked him to stop. I also urged Justin to quit responding to messages from his adult admirers. Justin agreed to both requests.