Jimmy's World

Olivia Olson


Sep 26, 2010

Jimmy’s World Reaction Paper

In Janet Cook’s 1980 article titled "Jimmy's World", Cooke wrote a captivating profile of the life of an 8-year-old heroin addict. She explained, "He had been an addict since age 5…. ‘Jimmy’s is a world of hard drugs, fast money and the good life he believes both can bring." Cook, who wrote a very touching and moving article, touched many in Washington D.C., who felt “obligated to find and rescue Jimmy from a world full of drugs, false hope, and dreams. Cook’s editor submitted the article to Pulitzer Prize and was awarded for brilliant. “Jimmy’s World”, although a well written and touching article, had many deficits which lacked substantial evidence, which made the post and many others question the reality behind her award written article and finally unmasking the ugly truth behind such a marvelous article.

Jimmy, who Cooke dedicated her article to   was described to use and sell heroin, and would be given such powerful drugs by his step father Ron. Cooke states, “Every day, junkies casually buy heroin from Ron, his mother’s live-in-lover, in the dining room of Jimmy’s home. They ‘cook” it in the kitchen, and ‘fire up’ in the bedrooms. And every day, Ron or someone else fires up Jimmy, plunging a needle into his boney arm, sending the 4th grader into a hypnotic spiral.” His dream to become a future heroin addict sent many in his city to reach out and save such a confused, neglected and helpless little boy. The story immediately generated controversy. Many demanded that Cooke reveal where the boy lived so that he could be helped. However, Cooke refused to provide his location, stating that she needed to protect her sources and that her life would be in danger from drug dealers if she failed to do so. Meanwhile, the city government launched an intensive search to find him. Eventually, Cook admitted that she had never met Jimmy and that much of her story was fictitious. Cooke offered her...