Manti Te’o

Mirror Awards finalists announced

Syracuse University

The 2014 Mirror Awards, which honor media industry reporting, announced their finalists Tuesday. Winners will be announced June 4.

Poynter’s Kristen Hare is a finalist in the Best Single Article – Digital Media category, for her story last November about how the Toronto Star reported on Rob Ford. The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple is a finalist in that category, too, for his piece the same month about Politico’s Mike Allen.

Mimi Chakarova’s story in Vice of posing as a prostitute in a Turkish brothel is nominated in the Best Single Story – Radio, Television, Cable or Online Broadcast Media category. Carrie Ching, who produced that story, told Poynter she’d begun a series of journalist “confessions” because she’d “heard so many stories from colleagues, personal stories that just weren’t being told.”

Timothy Burke and Jack Dickey’s story in Deadspin of Manti Te’o’s fictional girlfriend is among the finalists for the John M. Read more

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AP issues correction for stories citing Manti Te’o’s fake girlfriend

The Associated Press issued a correction late last week to address reporting that cited Manti Te’o’s fake girlfriend as real. As reported in Mike Allen’s Playbook at Politico, here’s the correction:

In a Sept. 15, 2012, story about Notre Dame’s college football victory over Michigan State that highlighted linebacker Manti Te’o’s performance, The Associated Press erroneously reported that he played in the game a few days after the death of his girlfriend, who had a long battle with leukemia. Other AP stories through Jan. 3, 2013, also contained references to the girlfriend’s death, including some directly quoting Te’o and his father, Brian Te’o, about how he played through personal grief. On Jan. 16, Notre Dame officials and Manti Te’o said there was never a girlfriend or a death, and that Te’o was victimized in a hoax.

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Face of Manti Te’o hoax announces plans to be less visible

The Los Angeles Times | Daily Download
Diane O’Meara has closed her social media accounts, she writes in the Los Angeles Times. A hoaxter told former Notre Dame football star Manti Te’o that O’Meara’s face was Lennay Kekua, a woman he believed to be a girlfriend he never met. O’Meara realizes getting off the grid is “not a long-term solution”:

Eventually, I’ll go back to using social media. But I’ll take an even more cautious approach. I’ll have a new definition of who I agree to “friend,” and it will be much closer to the old definition of friendship. My friends will be those I actually know and trust. If someone sends me a “friend” request, I will be as discerning as I am in choosing who I include in my off-line life.

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Katie Couric on Te’o interview: ‘I think he was really telling the truth’

CBS New York | BuzzFeed
What am I going to do, strap a lie detector on this guy?” Katie Couric said to WFAN hosts Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton Friday, while recapping her exclusive interview with former Notre Dame football player Manti Te’o.

“I mean, I think he was really telling the truth about most of the things we discussed,” she said.

I think that there was a lot of embarrassment and shame. I think he knows that he behaved in a way that raises a lot of questions. But I really don’t think he concocted this as a way to enhance his profile or make him look like a sympathetic, almost mythic character.

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In Te’o interview, Couric shows value of follow-up questions

“Good Morning America” | Yahoo | Poynter | Deadspin
Did Manti Te’o make a good damage-control decision when he decided to give his first big post-non-dead-girlfriend interview to Katie Couric? Far from it.

Christina Ng writes that Couric (who shares the same spokeperson as Te’o) found parts of Te’o’s story a little hard to swallow. Read more


Sports Illustrated beats NYT on story of how Deadspin beat ESPN on Te’o story

The New York Times | Sports Illustrated
The New York Times’ account of how ESPN frittered away a tip about Manti Te’o’s imaginary girlfriend has everything you’d want from a story-behind-the-story. It sports a marvelous headline (“As ESPN Debated, Manti Te’o Story Slipped Away”), and is a fascinating account of how Te’o’s reps muscled ESPN after the story broke.

And, in a bizarre echo of the story it tells, it arrives after Sports Illustrated’s account of the same events.

Both news organizations speak with ESPN News Chief Vince Doria, who tells the Times “We were very close,” and tells SI “We felt we were close to reporting it.” Richard Sandomir and James Andrew Miller report ESPN’s tip came from Te’o’s agent Tom Condon. Doria told Deitsch that ESPN’s “interest in the story was Te’o, and he has now told his story.” Three unnamed ESPN executives told the Times “they should have published on Jan. Read more


Did Deadspin beat ESPN to the Te’o story because it didn’t care about preserving ‘access’?

Sports Illustrated | Journo2Go
It was a story of two tips.

The first, as Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch reports, came to ESPN late on Jan. 10. The second came to Deadspin on Jan. 11. Both were similar: Something seems fishy about this Manti Te’o girlfriend story, you should check it out.

What happened after? Read more

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In a photo provided by ESPN, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o pauses during an interview with ESPN on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013, in Bradenton, Fla. ESPN says Te'o maintains he was never involved in creating the dead girlfriend hoax. He said in the off-camera interview: "When they hear the facts they'll know. They'll know there is no way I could be a part of this." (AP Photo/ESPN Images, Ryan Jones) MANDATORY CREDIT

5 reporting tips from the college student who helped break Deadspin’s Manti Te’o story

An anonymous email forwarded to the Deadspin staff more than a week ago claimed the deceased girlfriend of Notre Dame football star Manti Te’o never actually existed.

Deadspin editorial fellow Jack Dickey was immediately intrigued. During an online chat, Dickey told other staffers, “This Te’o tip is fascinating. Anybody got dibs?”

“My instinct was really just to go for it,” he said in an interview Friday night. “Given how many tips we get that don’t pan out at all, I knew, of course, there was a chance this one would be a red herring. But I figured it was something to flag just in case, because it was such a crazy thing to even imagine — and because if it was true, it would be huge.”

The subsequent report — a Deadspin team effort featuring Dickey and video/assignment editor Timothy Burke in the byline and editor-in-chief Tommy Craggs and others on the editing and steering committee — has been nothing short of “a national sensation. Read more


Why didn’t the media find out about Manti Te’o hoax sooner?

Of all the questions arising from Deadspin’s Manti Te’o story, maybe the biggest is: Why didn’t other journalists uncover the hoax sooner? The story broke Wednesday night, and news geeks are still trying to put the pieces back together.

• What did Manti Te’o know, and when did he know it? Both he and Notre Dame said he learned his dead girlfriend Lennay Kekua wasn’t dead, because she never existed, on Dec. 6. And yet he referred to her on Dec. 8 and 9, Associated Press reporter Tom Coyne writes:

Te’o was in New York for the Heisman presentation on Dec. 8 and, during an interview before the ceremony that ran on the, the website for a South Bend TV station, Te’o said: “I mean, I don’t like cancer at all.

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Deadspin’s editor-in-chief explains editing, reporting behind Manti Te’o story

Deadspin Editor-in-Chief Tommy Craggs says Timothy Burke and Jack Dickey were faced with a tough question when reporting their now famous Manti Te’o story: “What lengths do we go to to try and prove a negative?”

Tommy Craggs

When asked about his reaction to The Boston Globe calling Deadspin “a website that has broken some high-profile stories but not an outlet regarded for journalistic standards,” Craggs says: “Whatever. Why should I care what a craven, slipshod outfit like the Boston Globe thinks of my ‘journalistic standards’?”

In an email Q&A, Craggs elaborates on Burke’s explanation of how Deadspin got the story that all other journalists missed.

Mallary Tenore: Who edited the story?

Tommy Craggs: Tom Scocca and I edited. We have a sort of wrestling-tag-team method of editing these longer features: We’ll put the story in a Google Doc and I’ll suplex a couple paragraphs and then Scocca will leap off the turnbuckle and piledrive a section or two, and so on.  Read more

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