Jayson Blair: ‘I’ve matured’ since resigning from New York Times 10 years ago today

Ellicott City Patch | The Diamondback

Jayson Blair, who resigned from The New York Times 10 years ago today, tells Andrew Metcalf he’s been been “dodging most” of the media requests he says he’s received about the 10-year anniversary.

Blair, whose deceptions as a reporter led to a shakeup in Times editorial management, tells Metcalf that, “In a lot of ways I’ve matured, I’ve grown up,” and that he now has gray hair.

A series in the University of Maryland independent student newspaper The Diamondback details Blair’s troubled tenure as an editor and reporter there before he went to the Times. Blair missed deadlines, quoted sources no one could find and shrunk some journalists’ paychecks without explanation, Yasmeen Abutaleb writes. And then there were the unexplained absences, one of which was explained away as an accident involving his roommate leaving on a gas stove.

But one staff member was almost certain there weren’t gas stoves in the dorm rooms, so [Managing Editor Danielle] Newman called the Department of Resident Life and asked. There were only electric stoves on the campus, she learned.

Blair tells Metcalf he didn’t participate in the series, whose second installment published Wednesday, “because I didn’t see what good could come out of it.” He is now a life coach in Virginia.

Related: Sridhar Pappu’s classic, rollicking May 2003 exit interview with Blair

Previously: Jayson Blair on the first time he plagiarized: ‘I can’t believe no one caught that’ | Jayson Blair on Jonah Lehrer fabrications: ‘There’s probably more than what we’ve seen so far’ | Jayson Blair is not the standard by which to judge journalistic fraud

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  • http://www.facebook.com/robert.knilands Robert Knilands

    Too much dodging of the central issue. People in high positions both at Maryland and at the Times knew what Blair was, and they avoided dealing with it for one reason — racial bias.