he said he was testing how our globalized, increasingly
Internet-dependent media was upholding accuracy and accountability in
an age of instant news.
His report card: Wikipedia passed. Journalism flunked.
The sociology major’s made-up quote — which he added to the Wikipedia page ofMaurice Jarre hours after the French composer’s death March 28 — flew straight on to dozens of U.S. blogs and newspaper Web sites inBritain, Australia and India.
They used the fabricated material, Fitzgerald said, even though administrators at thefree online encyclopedia
quickly caught the quote’s lack of attribution and removed it, but not
quickly enough to keep some journalists from cutting and pasting it
So far, The Guardian is the only publication to make a public mea
culpa, while others have eliminated or amended their online obituaries
without any reference to the original version — or in a few cases,
still are citing Fitzgerald’s florid prose weeks after he pointed out
its true origin.
But the real problem with blogging is that there’s no stylebook!
Update: Hat tip to Dan who posted it in this comment thread long before Yahoo News was on the case. This is yet further proof of the erosion of credibility caused by blogging. *falls on journalism sword*