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Journalism Ethics

            A major breach of ethics that made it's way into the public view was in May of 2002, when a writer for the New York Times, Jayson Blair, fabricated or plagiarized parts of 36 out of 73 stories. He took information from other newspapers, and wire services. He was finally publicly exposed when he wrote some stories of popular national interest. Robert Horan, a Fairfax County, Va., commonwealth attorney, said 60 percent Blair's reporting in one article on the 2002 Washington, D.C.-area sniper case was wrong. Once all of his lies and ethical misconduct was exposed, Blair resigned. .
             This raises ethical questions of not only the reporters writing stories, but also their editors and the entire newsroom. Editors are the ones who assign stories, and are supposed to be checking the articles for accuracy. The question now becomes why did this go on so long? That Blair was able to get away with fabricating 36 stories. Two of the New York Times top editors did eventually apologize and resign their posts. .
             Part of the reason Blair may have been willing to act unethically is because of the intense deadlines that are necessary in the newspaper business. Sometimes it comes down to is it better to make the deadline dishonestly, or miss it and still keep our ethics in check? Blair acted in a completely wrong way. It makes the public question how much of the news they receive is actually accurate and factual. It reflects poorly on all journalists, and turned out to be a journalism ethics nightmare. .

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