Thursday, November 17, 2005
Journalism woes: It happens at newspapers large and small and Tuesday's Bakersfield Californian details its own case of journalistic malpractice.
Before she was fired Oct. 17 for plagiarism and fabrication, former Bakersfield Californian reporter Nada Behziz signed her name to 96 stories.
A Californian investigation shows more than a third contain a variety of serious problems including plagiarized material, misattributed quotes and information, factual errors or people whose existence could not be verified -- including seven physicians and a UCLA professor.
Behziz, 25, the paper's health writer since February, frequently plagiarized -- presenting other reporters' work as her own. And in some cases, she invented sources and then attributed plagiarized quotes to them.
On a related note, the Modesto Bee and Sacramento Bee published notes apologizing for their roles in spreading the lies of former Marine Jimmy Massey.
These cases should serve to remind journalists to be humble. Don't think that simply because you've got a journalism degree that you're more ethical, accurate or competent than some "average joe" who writes a blog that is only read by a half-dozen people.