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St. Louis: Woman pulled a fast one; reporters, editors didn't do their jobs

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by MU_was_not_so_hard, Apr 1, 2008.

  1. MU_was_not_so_hard

    MU_was_not_so_hard Active Member

    Quite a big oops in St. Louis. A feel-good Easter story turned out to be a big hoax.


    ** To our readers

    03/30/2008

    On the front page of last Sunday's St. Louis Post-Dispatch, we published the story of a woman identified as Virginia Gillis. She was featured in an Easter story in which she described in detail a past of victimization, homelessness and despair followed by recovery and repair.

    We have since learned that a number of the details in that story were inaccurate. Further, our verification procedures were not followed during the reporting and editing process. In short, this story did not meet our standards for publication. **

    More...

    http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/stlouiscitycounty/story/48AB23BAC663E9248625741D00098591?OpenDocument
     
  2. forever_town

    forever_town Active Member

    What that leaves me with is *why* didn't they follow their usual reporting and editing practices with this story?
     
  3. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    Not the first time, not the last time. We're far too gullible when it comes to these tear-jerker stories around a "holiday."
     
  4. forever_town

    forever_town Active Member

    So let me get this straight. They didn't do their jobs because they wanted to believe her?

    Well, shit.
     
  5. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Don't know about you, but I have never asked a source for their driver's license.

    People will lie and make crazy stuff up for lots of reasons -- and no reason.

    Be careful out there.
     
  6. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    I think we all see that too often. Those feel-good holiday stories are often rather useless, anyway. Something like this was bound to happen sooner or later - and who knows? It probably has on several other occasions.
     
  7. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Never trust anyone who says they turned their life around and got their shit together, for starters.
     
  8. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    When I watch the news, I assume many of the people who see a shooting in a not so great area of town are giving fake names.

    If they don't give their names or phone numbers to schools or to the police, what makes you think they are going to be honest with the local news?

    That said, I saw a man on the news whose name was Muhammad Ali, and I am 100 percent sure when he was born in India (possibly?) that his parents had no idea who was the heavyweight champ.
     
  9. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Active Member

    I couldn't have said it better.

    Well, actually, I could have: Shee-eeeeee-it!
     
  10. Diabeetus

    Diabeetus Active Member

    I thought it was a half-assed apology on the part of the PD.
     
  11. Mighty_Wingman

    Mighty_Wingman Active Member

    This guy says everything's fine:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2014
  12. Rosie

    Rosie Active Member

    Nope, never asked for a driver's license here, either.
     
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