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Herald reporter gets fooled by fake Russians

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by SF_Express, Oct 15, 2010.

  1. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    It's easy to sit here and say it never should have happened, but based on the way we all do business, how exactly do you safeguard against something like this?


    The correction, however, is pretty dumb.

    This is one link, but it's all over the web now.

    One note: Deadspin said looking up the rapper she mentioned might have been a start.


    The Google cache version of the story is linked off that page. The original has been taken down.
  2. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    Ask for drivers' licenses? I mean, at least it was in person. It's more of a risk if you're on the phone or something.
  3. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    Maybe asking for an ID just simply has to be SOP these days.
  4. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    "I need to see if your ID really does say Heywood ****"
  5. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    I think for something like that, when you're just pulling people from random out of a crowd and they're obviously relatively young? I think you have to.

    Just say "I need to verify the spelling of your name."
  6. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    Boy, obviously the first thing I thought of...
  7. Pete Incaviglia

    Pete Incaviglia Active Member

    I have to admit, our paper has fallen for something like this.

    We had some contentious development on "environmentally sensitive land" here and the protestors were out in large numbers. Several took over the development. It was nuts.

    But our reporters were quoting these people left, right and centre even though a couple of us (me included) were pretty sure those speaking with us were giving us fake names.

    Sure enough, I'm reading a magazine one day months after the protest and I recognize the name of one of the protestors, the one who was "media liason" for the group - only it wasn't him named in the mag, it was some little known, late 17th or 18th Century philosopher.

    And I had been tipped off by some level headed protestors during the protest that the guy was using "the name of some philosopher no one's heard of."

    I brought it up at work. Management never flinched.

    I have no idea what we do next time we speak to these folks.
  8. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    There's a guy who likes to run road races around here using the name John Iscool. Don't know why - he wasn't trying to "fool" the newspaper. But for one of our bigger races, we got a picture of the guy and used his number to ID him from the race charts.

    No way, I said, is the guy's name John Iscool.

    I called the race director. It was not John Iscool. Some rather ordinary name that escapes me now. We went with that.

    In short, we got a little lucky. Though again, the guy wasn't trying to pull a fast one on us. That was his "racing" name.

    Some people are just odd.
  9. College runners routinely race 5Ks and 10Ks, usually during the summer, under fake names so they can accept prize money without the NCAA finding out.

  10. 1HPGrad

    1HPGrad Member

    Not a good day for my former peeps ... but Rojas' decision to run the ridiculous Q-ray story was far more egregious.
  11. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    Agreed. Saw this this morning and ... ugh.

    And Q-Ray. Oh boy.
  12. BillyT

    BillyT Active Member

    Now there's an idea. Sell press passes for the Podunk Press that say "Heywood *******."
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