I agree with this comment, though:
WHO gets to tell their story? The subjects or the (privileged, white albeit female) observers? If the answer is the observers then this can only be exploitation. Voyeurism which gives white people yet another excuse to hold the Other at arm's length while all the while assuming they know what they are about... basic, Nanook of the North stuff, really.
Because it's a pretty basic fucking rule of journalism that you are not the story. You may be telling the story but it's not your story, so get the fuck out of the way. You are there to tell the stories of others, not to tell the story of you telling the story of others. If you don't know the difference, read more journalism. Read good stuff, lots of it, and then emulate it. Or go back to school. Save the stories about you in the new place for your mom. She's the only one who cares.
I get so insane about this kind of thing because it's such a wasted opportunity. You have unbelievable access to a family's story, institutional backing and an audience some bloggers would kill for. And you use it to talk about this? That's what you get out of the experience, that's what you give your readers? What massive fail.
The other reason I get so insane about this shit is that it's bad journalistic precedent and it's usually taken as trend rather than aberration by media critics. The fact that Knight is supporting this makes ne nuts. And it's just going to provide one more example for old-media assholes to use to dump on everybody on the Interwebs, and talk shit about young girls being unable to do serious work. As if the demographic is the problem and not, you know, individual people being idiots and having never had an editor smack the shit out of them for being masturbatory in print.
It's just bad journalism. And what's more, it's not even original bad journalism. Being a self-indulgent tourist in your own goddamn world is something newspaper columnists PIONEERED. I mean, I read crap like this in the Tribune all the time, when they send reporters to parts of the city that aren't Wicker Park or Bucktown and they act like anthropologists, observing the creatures in their natural habitat. What's more they make the unconscionable assumption that nobody in these places they couldn't even spell before they got there reads their paper or would take offense at being described like animals on a safari.
This "watch me live among the strangoids" narrative device creates distance and allows the audience to pretend they're not the same as us, we're not the same as them, our fate is not your fate. When the entire purpose of your time on this earth and your job as a reporter, as a witness to the world, is to do the exact fucking opposite.