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WVU reporter duped by fan site?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by linotype, Aug 27, 2007.

  1. linotype

    linotype Well-Known Member

    Caught wind of a rumor that one of the WVU beat writers made the mistake of trusting a fake news story on one of the fan message boards and re-reported it as fact.

    I've been scurrying to find a link with no success, but apparently the story concerned a ban on alcohol at WVU tailgates and limitations on the size of grills, etc. There was absolutely no truth to it, and even had the information attributed to WVU officials who don't exist.

    Anyone in wvSportsJournalists.com land know anything about this and care to shed some light on what happened?
  2. Jim Butta of the Parkersburg News and Sentinel wrote a column in this morning's edition - passing on fake info from a purported internet site (The Dominion Post, which is subscriber view only)as gospel.
    I saw it posted on a WVU fan message board and on Tristatepreps.com.
  3. boggles my mind that a reporter could put something like that in the paper without checking? without calling a source? without getting a confirmation from the school? without seeing if the officials quoted were actual school officials? without doing anything that reporting actually consists of?

    of course he should be fired
  4. Bill Brasky

    Bill Brasky Active Member

    That happens more and more...some poor overworked guy looking for a story and doesn't make the necessary calls. There was a deal in my neck of the woods lately where a guy lost his job after taking the bait from a fake Paul Finebaum column.
  5. Appgrad05

    Appgrad05 Active Member

    So the Dominion Post also printed fake information?
  6. No.
    My understanding is the website on which the story appeared said it pulled the fictional story from the D-P, which it didn't. The D-P, being a subscriber-only site would be impossible to verify.

    Don't hold your breath.
    In this day age ... short of telling your boss you'd like to ride that ass like a Cadiliac down I-95, you keep your job.
    I don't anyone who has ever been fired for faulty journalistic standards.

    FWI: The column has been taken off the News and Sentinel website.
  7. beanpole

    beanpole Member

    I know Butta ... he was a high school teacher and coach for many years and started stringing sports for the paper. Eventually made the transition to full-time reporting and dropped teaching.

    The News and Sentinel is an Ogden paper, so of course reporters are under lots of pressure to produce lots of copy and aren't paid well. I would be shocked if anyone on staff ever received an ethics course.

    Not making excuses for what's obviously a bonehead act. But I'm not surprised something like this happens in Parkersburg.
  8. Notepad

    Notepad Member

    I don't know the guy, but anyone who would do this is a complete hack. End of story.
  9. No.
    Butta is still a high school teacher at Williamstown. He also coaches girls track -for either Williamstown or Parkersburg, I don't remember. He is NOT a full-time sportswriter. Of that I am sure.
    There was a big debate at the WV Sportswriters Association a year or two back because the News was spending Butta, a part-time writer, as its rep.
    The WVSA changed it bylaws to say only full time writers could serve as paper reps.
  10. beanpole

    beanpole Member

    thanks for the update, orville. I don't live in WV anymore, but I had heard that Jim wasn't teaching any more. I stand corrected.
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