Journalist Don’t Always Tell the Truth

Eryn McWhorter, Reporter

There are many ways to get your work out there noticed. Fabricating, and plagiarizing in any of your writing would not be a smart way to get noticed. Journalist must have credibility, ethics, and integrity.

Stephen Glass made up a series of lies to cover up his original lies. He fabricated stories and published them in The New Republic. He wrote several stories that people found interesting and exciting. Glass wrote some that were too surreal. Glass made fake voicemails, websites, and notes to cover up for his stories. He knew how to get his stories published.

He was caught by Forbes a digital newspaper. They wanted to do a follow up on Glass’s story about Jukt Micronics. They found all his evidence was not credible and none of his notes added up. After becoming a disgraced journalist, Glass went into law. The Committee of Bar Examiners refused to certify him on his moral fitness test. He took his case to the California Supreme Court where they ruled against him.

Janet Cooke wrote a report about an eight-year old drug addict. The article was called “Jimmy’s World”. In Cooke’s article, Jimmy was forced to do heroin by his mom’s boyfriend. Jimmy’s mom said, “Jimmy was raised and grew up around drugs such as heroin.” She also said, “I knew he would get into it. Everybody does it.

Janet Cooke was awarded on April 13, 1981 with the Pulitzer Prize. The Washington Post got suspicious after they found Cooke had lied on her resume. She claimed to have been the magna cum laude of Vassar College and she received her masters degree from the University of Toledo. After, she admitted that she had never met Jimmy and that much of her story was fictional. She is now in Kalamazoo, Michigan working as a clerk in a clothing store.

Jayson Blair was a news reporter for the New York Times. Blair resigned at the wake of the discovery of plagiarism and fabrication in his stories in 2003. He wrote about locations he had never visited, ripped off quotes from other publications, and fabricated events that never took place. Blair didn’t rip off just any stranger, he ripped off Macarena Hernandez; the two worked together for an internship program at The Times. Along with his down fall, the executive and managing editor of The Times were brought down.

Knowledge is power and journalist can not abuse their power. To write about news today, you have to be truthful but know how to get people interested. Lying to the media would just bring unwanted attention and obscenity to your name. To be a journalist you must have ethics. You need to know the fine line between lying and exaggerating. News companies need to start hiring people that are credible. Instead of letting the number of unemployment grow, new companies should hire people to go out with journalist to report stories. That way, the reporter will always have a credible resource in the same exact building.