Jour 203-BDP

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Journalists Gone Bad

Answer the following in a new blog entry. DEADLINE: Wednesday (10/11/06), 5pm.Part I -- Identify the shamed journalists in the mugshots above, and describe why each was fired. Hint: they worked for (from left to right) The New Republic, The New York Times, USA Today and The Washington Post. Part II -- The Mustang Daily even found itself embroiled in a plagiarism scandal last year. What were the details of the incident? (BONUS QUESTION: What ethical dilemma did local media (Mustang Daily, New Times and SLO Tribune) face when reporting this story)?Part III -- Identify the 'character' of each organization or individual listed below. Some questions to answer: What do they do? Who pays them? What is their agenda, if any? Who’s interest are they serving? 1. Corpwatch2. Globalwitness3. Laborstart4. Associated Press5. Reuters6. Electronic Authorization Partnership7. David Romero8. Jack T. O'Conell9. Julie Rodewald10. Deborah Linden

Part I
Picture 1 Stephen Glass: While working for The New Republic 25 year old Stephen Glass fabricated stories for numerous publications including Slate, Rolling Stone, Harper's, George, and of course The New Republic. In the New Republic alone 27 of Glass’ 41 pieces were partly or entirely fictional.
Picture 2 Jayson Blair: This line from the front page of the New York Times on 11 May 2003 outlines Blair’s offenses while working as a reporter for the Times. “The reporter, Jayson Blair, 27, misled readers and Times colleagues with dispatches that purported to be from Maryland , Texas and other states, when often he was far away, in New York . He fabricated comments. He concocted scenes. He lifted material from other newspapers and wire services. He selected details from photographs to create the impression he had been somewhere or seen someone, when he had not.” His lies were found in stories ranging from a sniper attack in suburban Washington to families grieving over loved ones lost in Iraq.
Picture 3 Jack Kelley: In the words of Blake Morrison, USA TODAY, “Jack Kelley fabricated substantial portions of at least eight major stories, lifted nearly two dozen quotes or other material from competing publications, lied in speeches he gave for the newspaper and conspired to mislead those investigating his work.” One of his most atrocious lies involved a story about a woman who died fleeing Cuba by boat.
Picture4 Janet Cooke: While working for the Washington Post Janet Cooke published a story titled “Jimmy’s World” about an 8 year old heroin addict in inner-city Washington D.C. She was awarded Pulitzer Prize for the piece, until it was discovered that the she made up Jimmy and his saga to satisfy editors at the Post.

Part 2
In summer 2005 a student was convicted of plagiarizing articles spring quarter for Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s student run newspaper the Mustang Daily. The student copied entire paragraphs from other publications and used them as her own in three Mustang Daily articles. During the Mustang Daily’s summer edition, editors Dan Watson and Kristen Oato corrected the plagiarized articles and assured readers that the problem had been corrected. The name of the journalism student responsible was not published by the Mustang Daily. When reporting the story in August 2005, the SLO Tribune and New Times were faced with an ethical dilemma of whether or not to reveal the student’s name. The San Luis Obispo Tribune did publish Rebecca Laman as the culprit. Some argue that publicizing the Cal Poly student’s plagiarism was correct, but reporting the name was unnecessary.

Part 3
According to Common Dreams, a progressive newswire, “CorpWatch is a watchdog group that works to hold corporations accountable on human rights, labor rights and environmental justice”.
SourceWatch a project of the center for Media and Democracy states that, “Global Witness works to highlight the links between the exploitation of the natural resources and human rights abuses, particularly where the resources such as timber, diamonds and oil are used to fund conflict.”
According to AFSCME Council, LaborStart “Provides an international perspective on labor unions. Up-to-date news and alerts on major strikes and a searchable research archive.”
The Associated Press mission is “to be the essential global news network, providing distinctive news services of the highest quality, reliability and objectivity with reports that are accurate, balanced and informed.” It is a nonprofit cooperative.
The Reuters website describes itself as “the largest international multi-media news agency, reporting extensively from around the world on topics ranging from financial markets to general and political news.”
Government Computer news wrote in a recent article about PKI service vendors that, “FICC has established an industry working group, the Electronic Authorization Partnership, to develop processes for certifying digital-certificate providers. The providers will be certified to the four levels of assurance spelled out in OMB’s e-authentication guidelines, published earlier this year.
David Romero? A versatile musician in Las Vegas, NV or a Santa Fe Spring CHP killed by a drunk driver September 23, 2005.
Jack T. O’Conell is the current superintendant of public instruction in California, elected in 2002. He is currently running for reelection. During their four year term the supeintendant of public instruction oversees Ca’s public school system.
Julie Rodewald is the San Luis Obispo county Clerk-Recorder. She is responsible for maintaining the district court’s files and the county’s land records.
Deborah Linden is the CEO of Orlando-based Island One Resorts?