May 12, 2003

Boston Globe
The Boston Globe says doubts have surfaced about a handful of stories that Jayson Blair wrote for the paper as a freelancer, and during 1996 and 1997 summer internships. Globe editor Martin Baron says his paper will continue its investigation to determine whether there are problems in other stories. Former Globe D.C. bureau chief David Shribman says of Blair: ”He was the most controversial intern we’d ever had. He was kind of sneaky and snoopy with other reporters, in personal gossip. It was plain that I was disapproving of him . . . and I let other editors there know.”
> NYT publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. tells Matthew Rose there’s little that anyone could have done to prevent Blair from putting false information into the paper. He says: “Do we have a system designed to uncover venality? No, we don’t, and you know something, I guess I am not unhappy with that. I don’t want us to become a police state where you suspect every employee of ripping off the company.” (Wall Street Journal)
> Ex-NYT reporter Alex Jones tells Peter Johnson he’s troubled that many of the people Blair identified and quoted in his articles didn’t contact the paper. “They didn’t say, ‘Holy cow, this somebody who is clearly unscrupulous.’ Instead, their response was to shrug their shoulders and say, ‘Hey, what did you expect?’ This is a great indictment of the American media.” (USA Today)
> Tim Rutten says the least credible and complete portion of the NYT’s Blair story “is its categorical denial that the unusual tolerance and solicitude the paper accorded Blair, who is African American, had anything to do with his race.” (Los Angeles Times)
> “I can think of as many or more white journalists than black ones who’ve been caught plagiarizing and making things up,” writes Sheryl McCarthy. “And Blair’s story doesn’t say anything about the state of journalism today, other than there are a few journalists who engage in this kind of fraud.” (Newsday)
> Blair variously called charming and cunning, ambitious and lazy (Time)
> Talese: “This fellow Blair belonged in the minors,” not big leagues (NYP)
> Kurtz: An independent ombud would have helped in this case (“RS”)
> NYT piece possibly a little more comprehensive than readers need? (BS)
> Hetzel: “I never thought I’d be ashamed of the New York Times” (YDR)
> J-prof: “They should have called him in and said ‘This is it.'” (Newsday)
> NY Sun has “a slightly different view” than the Times of Blair affair (NYS)
> Safire: A con artist gamed a system that celebrates diversity (NYT/r.r.)

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From 1999 to 2011, Jim Romenesko maintained the Romenesko page for the Poynter Institute, a Florida-based non-profit school for journalists. Poynter hired him in August…
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