It is disconcerting to think that the newspaper could be lying. While it is true that most respectable news sources do relay facts and accurate information to readers and viewers, sometimes trusted news sources are faulty. For example, the credibility of the New York Times was damaged when a young journalist, Jayson Blair, falsified stories and plagiarized instead of writing original news pieces.
As it turns out, Blair was a pathological liar and he resigned from the Times, but not without first damaging his own reputation and the reputation of the paper. In one instance, he wrote a story that centered on the mother of a soldier who was deployed in Iraq. The source was fabricated and so was the story. He also covered a sniper attack, drastically sensationalizing the story, which was already tragic and frightening enough. He often claimed to be in one place interviewing sources when he was not. He plagiarized the writing of coworkers and stole other journalists’ stories from the internet.
Jayson Blair did a great disservice to himself and the paper he worked for when he employed such childish tactics to write his stories. Students are taught that plagiarizing is stealing as early as elementary school. It is known that a journalist’s obligation to the public is to accurately represent facts to the best of his ability. In a time when information is so easily accessible and computers can sift through millions of articles, it is amazing that Blair believed he could get away with taking others’ work. In the end, he lost his job and his credibility; no shortcut is worth such steep ramifications. Novelists make up stories, journalists tell it how it is. The essence of newswriting is to tell the truth and Blair should have respected that.

Jayson Blair
Jayson Blair

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