by Mike Masnick

NY Times Admit Reporter Deceived Them

from the who-needs-fact-checkers-any-more? dept

It seems that in the webified age of "publish now!" fact checkers no longer exist - even at "distinguished" newspapers like the NY Times. The Times came out with a huge confession admitting (as was rumored in recent weeks) that one of their reporters completely made up parts of certain articles. He apparently lied about where he was (pretending to report from the scene, when really he was home in NY), he falsified quotes, he plagiarized stories, and pretended to know what was going on from news wire pictures. The NY Times, itself, seems to be in shock. What stuns me is that a simple fact checking should have uncovered many of these falsehoods - but apparently they never occurred. They admit in the article that the reporters, themselves, are often the only fact checkers the NY Times uses. The NY Times is still trying to track down all the lies from this guy, and are even asking readers to help them track down his falsehoods. What's also stunning is that some of those at the NY Times who worked with this guy had suggested the paper get rid of him - pointing out problems with his writing, saying that there were often "errors". There are a ton of news organizations picking up on this story. Poynter has an interesting article talking about whether or not this sort of thing could easily occur elsewhere - which turns out to be more about how it actually happened in the first place. What's most amazing to me is the sheer number of mistakes this guy made, and the amount of time it took for him to get caught.

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  • identicon
    thecaptain, 12 May 2003 @ 6:13am

    we can't trust media anymore

    The sad fact is that NYT profits hugely from this...its a win-win situation.

    1) This reporter rushes out a story thats made up ...NYT gets circulation based on a timely story.

    2) NYT gets busted, they own up on their paper and cry "awww pity us, we've been fooled" and sell even MORE papers.

    There's almost NO negative effects because the public at large no longer has a long term memory for these things and no one will come out and say "We can't trust the New Times anymore"...the public will just shrug and pick it up like they do every morning..force of habit. Just like we keep buying Nikes, buy Microsoft and buy Disney or whatever else people scream about in public.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 May 2003 @ 6:30am

    No Subject Given

    News Flash ! Newspapers are under no obligation to print the truth. It is still up to the reader to digest the 'facts' and determine the value of the story. This guy was just over the top in flat out lying whereas many reporters interject their conclusions.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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