Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Damage to Brand After Reporter’s Deceit

Got a reaction to this firing of a reporter for allegedly fabricating quotes? Did the Intercept stem the damage to the brand by acting quickly?

An editor’s note and investigation is one thing. But, ultimately, deeds matter more than words. Specifically, what’s the punishment? Has been Thompson been fired? Suspended? Put on probation? For “great lengths to deceive his editors,” coupled with noncooperation, the appropriate remedy would seem to be the former. That’s thorough and decisive.

In any event, people like you and me—the press and insiders—care more about scandals like this than do regular readers and advertisers. BuzzFeed is thriving despite Benny Johnson’s plagiarism. So is the Washington Post despite Lisa Rein’s and Wired despite Jonah Lerer’s. Plagiarism damages the plagiarist more than his publication. Exhibit A: Serial fabulist Stephen Glass still can’t get a job.

Addendum (2/4/2016): Success!

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