Jayson Blair’s story and what journlists can learn from it

Jayson Blair is a former reporter for the New York Times who resigned in 2003 after he was found to have committed the most egregious crime in the journalism world, plagiarism and fabrication. He brought unnecessary pressure on the New York Times whom had to print retractions on a number of stories that he had supposedly written. As a student journalist, I can admit to making a few small errors in my writing; I always try to research a subject before I write anything about them. I have certainly never blatantly plagiarized another writer. The few times I have referenced other articles in my stories, I have made sure to give credit to both the individual writer and the organization to which they write for. Particularly because given credit to other writers is so easy; all you have to say is as writer John Smith said in his piece for blank publications begin quote, the quote itself, and then end quote. In my admittedly small experience in writing semi-professionally, writers don’t care if you take small portions of their story and use them in your own as long as you give them credit. I don’t think Jayson Blair is a bad person; I think he is a bad journalist who quite frankly got what he deserved. He wrote a memoir, Burning Down My Master’s House which only sold 1,400 copies in nine days as the Los Angeles Times reported in 2004. More young journalists should learn about Jayson Blair and his story so they don’t repeat the same mistakes in their own careers.

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Posted in Important figures in media history

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