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Scary thought about the next crop of young journalists...

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Mizzougrad96, Feb 27, 2007.

  1. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    A friend of mine is a professor at a relatively small J-school. As part of the curriculum, he showed 'Shattered Glass' to the class. They also talked extensively about Jayson Blair. I thought doing both were great ideas since so much can be learned from both incidents.

    About a month after they did that, my friend got the sense that some of the stories that were being turned in were completely fake. Since he had been pitching the best of the stories to the local paper, to help the students get some much-needed clips, this scared the hell out of him.

    He ended up checking the stories of all 20 of his students and found out that six of them were writing stuff that was completely fabricated.

    He couldn't help but wonder if showing the film and talking about it and Blair gave the kids the idea... It may have, but isn't that pretty fucking scary about the next crop of journalists. I hate to say it, but I'll bet this is happening a lot more than we know...
  2. Editude

    Editude Active Member

    On the (latest) blogs thread, someone said a clarification needed to run because the content that the writer pasted from a blog had been updated in the meantime. Pasted from a blog?
  3. Shaggy

    Shaggy Guest

    When it came to J-School assignments, I often used friends for quotes even though we were supposed to use strangers. I've never done that professionally.

    Come to think of it, I used my aunt as a quote once on a story about chihuahua owners.
  4. Idaho

    Idaho Active Member

    This thread is screaming deep_background and his Clint Eastwood is dead thread.
  5. Flying Headbutt

    Flying Headbutt Moderator Staff Member

    I once made up an interview for a non-journalism class. It was a one-page paper and I just used info my friend told me regarding his DUI ordeal in the months before. Used one of my roommates name as the lawyer and made it sound as legit as ever. It just didn't seem like a good use of time to set up an interview with a lawyer for a one page diddy for a class of 300 people. Everything was factual, I guess I just had my friend live out the experience for me. It was the only good thing that came from his DUI, since he went and got a second one a few years later. That finally taught him and now he doesn't drink at all.
  6. gospringboks

    gospringboks Member

    I think it probably happened just as much back in the day and today; some of my old-school j-profs, including several that worked at some of the best papers in the nation said people were caught making stuff up/fabricating quotes/etc, even at the highest levels.

    But with the Internet now, it's much, much easier to check up on stuff.
  7. awriter

    awriter Active Member

    Once had to do a feature for a j-school class on one of the other students who had met the president. He showed me the article from his hometown paper and said, "Just make something up." So I did. And got an A.
  8. joe king

    joe king Active Member

    You're fired.
  9. ballscribe

    ballscribe Active Member

    I made up a few things in J-School, too. I must admit.
    And I'm sure I wasn't the only one.
    Just didn't want to bother real, live people for a stupid school assignment that had little to do with reality.
    But we didn't have a teacher pimping our stuff to the local paper. Had I known that, I wouldn't have done it.
    Those kids are even more stupid than we were...
  10. Oz

    Oz Active Member

    I'm going to continue to hold out hope that kids like Huska are the norm, not the exception. Because if that's true, then this profession has nothing to worry about.
  11. Boobie Miles

    Boobie Miles Active Member

    I'm with everything you said for the same reasons. It seemed silly to bother important people for a class assignment. No need for anyone to get holier than thou... I worked for the student paper (where I learned expotentially more about this than I ever did in a class) and never fabricated anything or cut any corners.

    I also bullshitted just about every paper I wrote in college and used to use cheat sheets in math class in high school. I do not feel bad about this at all, most of the work in school is complete bullshit. I've never done any of that when writing for publication because that I did/do actually care about.

    If these stories weren't being submitted to the local paper I wouldn't think this was a big deal -- if the kids were fabricating things just because they were lazy or too busy with other work to find the time to do the interviews or for the reasons ballscribe and I did it. Now if they are learning from this and think this is ok to do, then obviously it's not too good.
  12. cougargirl

    cougargirl Active Member

    On that note, I have met younger, fresh-out-of-school journalists who give me hope for the future of the profession. My hope for those individuals, however, is that they get the right guidance as well as possess the right motivation in this field.
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