NBC: No scholarship for girl who faked pregnancy

Romenesko Misc.
NBC spokeswoman Megan Kopf sends this email:

I saw your story on the fake pregnancy piece we did. The Yakima Herald never reached out to us for comment – We licensed the footage for a nominal fee which we disclosed in the piece. There was no “scholarship” (to what??) offered.

Sharlene Martin has posted in the comments section:

As Gaby’s literary agent, I’d like to put this story to rest with accuracy. NBC licensed video that was the property of the Toppenish School District. The agreement made between myself and Gaby’s attorney, Anne Bremner, was made with the School District who “sold” it to us with express condition that the monies NOT be commissioned and be put in a trust fund for a scholarship for Gaby’s education. We have done just that.

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  • Anonymous

    Here’s a letter to the editor I sent to the Yakima Herald-Republic on May 27 concerning its clueless coverage of this student’s phony pregnancy “experiment.”

    To the editor:
     
    I am appalled that the Herald-Republic published yet another article about Toppenish High School student Gaby Rodriquez’s “social experiment” without prominently raising the issue of poor ethics. The fact that the student was terribly uncomfortable with her deceit in faking a pregnancy should have signaled everyone that the project should be halted.
     
    What kind of lesson is all this gushing media coverage conveying about the acceptability of lying? Will other students and teachers now be encouraged to engage in unethical and potential dangerous experiments? And we still don’t know — despite five H-R articles, an editorial, and a Today Show interview —  what Rodriguez learned that she couldn’t have learned simply by interviewing pregnant girls at the school.  
     
    The president of the Washington Science Teachers Association and two social science and psychology professionals with doctorates told me this “experiment” likely would not have received approval in a university setting. Toppenish High should be teaching students proper research methods; it has committed educational malpractice here, with the apparent collaboration of mentors at  Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital . The state should investigate. And the Herald-Republic and the Today Show have committed journalistic malpractice by failing to raise these important ethics questions.
     
    –Harris Meyer

  • Anonymous

    Ms. Martin is attempting some real semantic gamesmanship here. Was NBC money earmarked for a scholarship for Gaby?  — YES

  • http://twitter.com/danielrubin danielrubin

    Network news never pays for interviews? Ira Einhorn, the famous Philly-born hippie killer who was arrested after living large for 16 years under an assumed name in Europe, told me that Connie Chung’s 20/20 producers bought him a top-of-the-line Dell computer in exchange for his exclusive interview in 1998: http://www.angelfire.com/on/GEAR2000/ienews.html

  • Anonymous

    I tried to have a phone conversation with this reporter and she refused to speak with me.  Her response was “put what you have to say in an email.”  It’s true Gaby got a “scholarship fund” as a result of the licensing of the video to NBC, but NBC just paid a licensing fee–it was the school board that dictated it be put into a scholarship fund for Gaby.  We have glady done so.  We all know that network news NEVER pays for interviews. 

  • Anonymous

    As Gaby’s literary agent, I’d like to put this story to rest with accuracy.  NBC licensed video that was the property of the Toppenish School District.  The agreement made between myself and Gaby’s attorney, Anne Bremner, was made with the School District who “sold” it to us with express condition that the monies NOT be commissioned and be put in a trust fund for a scholarship for Gaby’s education.  We have done just that.

  • Anonymous

    If indeed the Yakima Herald did not contact NBC, that’s horrible. Journalists who do not get both sides of the story give us all a bad name.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Frank-Lockwood/638543469 Frank Lockwood

    Nominal?  That’s awfully vague. Can NBC be more specific?