Why They Lie: Probing the Explanations for Journalistic Cheating
journal contributionposted on 2022-11-01, 14:45 authored by Ivor ShapiroIvor Shapiro
This Review Essay examines four books that offer a variety of explanations fabrication and plagiarism within journalism. They include explanations offered by the two most famous recent perpetrators of fabrication (Jayson Blair and Stephen Glass), as well as an analysis of the recent scandals at the New York Times and of cheating in the wider society. Among the explanations probed are workplace pressure, the "star" system in journalism, and the culture of trust and lack of policing within news organizations. Simpler explanations are rejected, including pure ambition, lack of ability, dysfunctional management, and affirmative action.