Independent Lens: A Fragile Trust: Plagiarism, Power, and Jayson Blair at the New York Times

Independent Lens: A Fragile Trust: Plagiarism, Power, and Jayson Blair at the New York Times

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 10:00pm

Jayson Blair, former NY Times reporter

Credit: Courtesy of Singeli Angew

Hear the shocking story of a promising young reporter caught plagiarizing and supplementing his own reporting with fabricated details.

The ensuing media frenzy left a major blemish on the long history of the Times. The fact that Blair is African American was emphasized repeatedly as accounts of the “Blair Affair” served up sordid details in a tale of deception, drug abuse, racism, mental illness, hierarchy, white guilt, and power struggles. Accusations of favoritism, lowered standards for minorities and racism in the newsroom were hotly debated by pundits, while minority journalists said they felt as if their work was suddenly under the microscope because of Blair’s flagrant lies. Independent Lens: A Fragile Trust: Plagiarism, Power, and Jayson Blair at the New York Times airs Monday, May 5, 2014 at 10 p.m. on WXXI-TV.

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