Writer fabricated seal hunt story

Just don’t know what news organizations to trust anymore:

BOSTON (Reuters) – A Boston Globe freelance writer fabricated large chunks of a story published this week, the newspaper said on Friday in the latest incident to embarrass the U.S. media.

The Globe, which is owned by The New York Times Co., said it stopped using writer Barbara Stewart because of a story that ran on Wednesday about a seasonal hunt for baby seals off Newfoundland — a hunt, it turns out, had not taken place.

The story datelined Halifax, Nova Scotia described in graphic detail how the seal hunt began on Tuesday, with water turning red as hunters on some 300 boats shot harp seal cubs “by the hundreds.”

The problem, however, was that the hunt did not begin on Tuesday; it was delayed by bad weather and was scheduled to start on Friday, weather permitting, the Globe said in an editor’s note.

The article also reminds us:

U.S. media organizations have been hit with a series of high-profile cases involving plagiarism or fabrication.

In 2003, The New York Times’ top two editors, Howell Raines and Gerald Boyd, left the paper after it was disclosed that reporter Jayson Blair had fabricated and plagiarized material.

CBS News, The Washington Post, NBC News, CNN, the New Republic magazine and USA Today are among the other media icons caught up in celebrated flaps over inaccurate reporting.

Now, while I’m glad these instances of fabricated stories are making major headlines, I still think to myself: “Just where the heck do we go for news anymore?” I mean, think about it. Just about every major news organization out there has been hit with some type of scandal like this. Haven’t they learned by now that they HAVE to check their facts and verify their sources??

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