Ghostwriting is a standard tool that has been used for decades, even centuries, by busy people in public life. The gruelling schedules of Presidents, Prime Ministers, captains of business, or senior figures in any institution, rarely allow them time to draft long speeches or construct articles for the media. Relying on trusted members of one's press office, communications department or private office is the only logical solution.
While ghostwriting was traditionally confined to public presentations for an employer it has evolved to include the drafting of research papers, presentations and even laws for third parties. For example, medical ghostwriting refers to the practice of writers hired by a specialist PR company or drug company drafting research articles to be submitted under the name of a scientist. Corporate lobby groups can draft laws to be submitted by politicians.
- Erica Johnson, "Ghostwriting: the basics: what is medical ghostwriting", Marketplace, CBC News (Canada), March 23, 2003.
- Karen Olsson, "Ghostwriting the law", Mother Jones, September/October 2002.