Lying, plagiarising NYT writer outed, ousted

An NYT reporter who resigned on May 1 has been outed in the pages of the Times as a liar and plagiarist. His former colleagues have done some investigative reporting on the stories he filed and identified specific instances of malfeasance, but the paper is also doing a little Journalism 3.0, soliciting reader-identified lies and plagiarism through an email address.

The reporter, Jayson Blair, 27, misled readers and Times colleagues with dispatches that purported to be from Maryland, Texas and other states, when often he was far away, in New York. He fabricated comments. He concocted scenes. He lifted material from other newspapers and wire services. He selected details from photographs to create the impression he had been somewhere or seen someone, when he had not.

And he used these techniques to write falsely about emotionally charged moments in recent history, from the deadly sniper attacks in suburban Washington to the anguish of families grieving for loved ones killed in Iraq.

In an inquiry focused on correcting the record and explaining how such fraud could have been sustained within the ranks of The Times, the Times journalists have so far uncovered new problems in at least 36 of the 73 articles Mr. Blair wrote since he started getting national reporting assignments late last October. In the final months the audacity of the deceptions grew by the week, suggesting the work of a troubled young man veering toward professional self-destruction.

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(via Dan Gillmor)