A few items have come across my inbox this week that I thought I’d post here in case you haven’t seen them. The first is a cautionary tale about an intern at The Wall Street Journal who was fired for fabricating sources in a story. The story has been pulled from the Journal‘s website, but was posted on Talking Biz News, along with a few comments. Poynter has a little more on the intern, Liane Membis.
Of course, then there’s this piece from Poynter about Jeff Meade, a sports writer for The Monroe Evening News in Michigan, who wrote a column outlining several of his ethical transgressions, including making up quotes when he lost his notebook and dating a source. Interestingly, the column appears to have been taken down from the MonroeNews.com website. I read it this morning (and now wish I’d taken a screenshot of it), but the links no longer work. It will be interesting to see if he keeps his job.
Then there’s this piece that ran on The Washington Post website that — once again — points to the issue that speed and quality journalism don’t always go together. In this case, both CNN and Fox initially reported that the individual mandate provision of the health care act was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court. In fact, it was upheld. But in the rush to get the “news” out, the journalists wrote their reports without reading past the first page of the ruling. The errors were corrected, but I have to wonder if the public would have been better served by waiting for the few extra minutes it took to read page 2 of the decision.
[Another update: The Raw Story ran this brief, which includes a clip of The Colbert Show, on Colbert’s coverage of the error made by both CNN and Fox. The clip includes some of the footage from Fox and CNN programming on the day of the court ruling)
Finally, for those of you interested in issues about media ownership and conglomeration, the Project for Excellence in Journalism is out with it’s new report on ownership changes. It might be useful, and it certainly has some interesting data.