February 2010 Archives

Dave Walkovic: Blog 4- Journalism Gambling

 | | 0 TrackBacks

As an aspiring sports journalist, I feel it was very appropriate that we discussed sports gambling in one of our recent classes. There were many interesting points brought up in our discussion, but I would like to present my own views.

            As a diehard sports fan, I have bet on the occasional game. There is nothing wrong with making a friendly bet to make the game more interesting every once in a while, but you must be careful not to cross the line. If a sports journalist is chosen to cover a certain game I believe it is completely unethical to place a bet on that particular game. There is no doubt that gambling on the game could affect how you cover the sporting event.  If you win, you are obviously going to be very happy. If you lose, you are going to be upset.   This could lead you to perform one of sports journalism mortal sins: writing with a bias.   

            A study conducted right here at Penn State University found that 41 percent of the sports journalists that responded to the study have gambled on sports. About 5 percent have bet on a game that they were covering. Now the first number is a very significant portion. But are these people actually doing something wrong?  I say no. If you are not covering that game, I say betting on it is fair game. Many people may object to this, but I don't see how this could affect the reporter's work in any way. This will not create a bias because they are not covering that specific game. They will not be happy if a specific team won or lost in their game, and that is why I feel that journalism gambling should be accepted as long as they do not bet on a game they are covering.

            As far as that 5 percent goes, betting on a game you are responsible for covering in absolutely unacceptable.  "A journalistic no-no," said Marie Hardin, who directed the abovementioned survey's research.   You should not be able to gamble on a game that you are covering. Work and personal rooting interests cannot and should not intertwine. Gambling on a game you are responsible for covering should result in the journalist being fired.

            Overall, I have mixed feelings on the issue.  Depending on the situation, I think it should be acceptable for a journalist to bet on sporting events, but they must be extremely careful. However, never, ever bet on a game that you are covering.  If you do, I say you deserve the old Donald Trump. "You're fired."



Kindred, D. (2009, October 29). The worst news about sports journalism imaginable?. Retrieved February 11, 2010, from http://sportsjournalism.org/sports-media-news/the-worst-news-about-sports-journalism-imaginable/


Hardin, M. (2009, September 2). Sports reporters & gambling: The big picture. Retrieved February 11, 2010, from http://sportsmediasociety.blogspot.com/


Laura Nichols: Blog 4: "Sports Journalism Ethics"

 | | 0 TrackBacks

At the Collegian, I work alongside many students who are already deeply immersed in the sports journalism major, students who already covering one of the major sports and interacting with many athletes at a Big Ten school.

I am on the news division, and I know my code of ethics -- where the limit lies between source relationships and things that would be considered "freebies" or "unethical," but I never really thought about the code of conduct a sports writer has to follow because of the type of interaction they have with athletes, coaches and team administration.  

What interested me the most was the concept of gambling, and the high rate at which it occurs among reporters.

According to the Associated Press Sports' Editors ethics guidelines, sports journalists are not permitted to accept meals or trips on behalf of the team or organization he or she is covering.

This, I knew right away that the Collegian abides by to the fullest. Each trip to the other Big Ten states has been footed by the paper - and maybe even some by the reporters themselves.

A reporter is expected to remain unbiased. The ASPE guidelines say they must refrain from contributing to any sort of promotional media for a team, as that could compromise what should be their disconnected attitude.

Gifts and free tickets are not acceptable, which is the same as is in the other areas of reporting. This is something that could clearly compromise a reporter's attitude toward that organization.

 A writer for the National Sports Journalism center cited the Penn State study that looked at the demographics of reporters in sports, and their willingness to gamble.

"Gambling has no place in games, no place in the newspaper," Dave Kindred writes. He adds that it has corrupted nearly all who get involved with it.

Mainstream news organizations should not publish point-spread information. Let the bettors get it from tip sheets. Gambling on sports is, after all, illegal outside Nevada. Why would any newspaper promote an illegal activity? (Kindred, 2009)

That point really stood out to me because I cannot understand how professional journalists who have had years of training just on the subject of ethics so overwhelmingly took part in something illegal. Kindred writes that it should be a firing offense - and I agree.

I do not know that there is a more blatant way to show bias for or against a team then to bet on them. Regardless of whether that team is their main focus, a reporter does not know what he will be asked to cover and should never leave that up to chance.

Reporters who gamble should be held just as accountable for their actions as athletes who are discovered to be betting on games, too.




APSE Ethics Guidelines. The Dallas Morning News: Sports Morning. APSE.dallasnews.com. 2010. Feb. 11 2010. http://apse.dallasnews.com/main/codeofethics.html.


Kindred, Dave. "The worst news about sports journalism imaginable?" National Sports Journalism Center, the University of Indiana. Sportsjournalism.com. Oct. 29 2009. Feb. 10 2010. http://sportsjournalism.org/sports-media-news/the-worst-news-about-sports-journalism-imaginable/.



Guidelines for Interviewing Juveniles

 | | 0 TrackBacks
The guidelines are from RTDNA website, which is also on ANGEL.


Ernie DiLullo: Blog 4 - Should the media interfere in a celebrity's personal life?

 | | 0 TrackBacks
Everyday, you always know the latest celebrity gossip, whether it be from television, the internet, or from word of mouth. Brad and Angelina are adopting another baby! Tiger Woods is cheating on his wife! Even some of the most mundane information about celebrities we probably already know. Now all of this had me thinking, should the media be interfering in a famous person's personal life? How much is too much?

As much as it might bother some people, talking and gossiping about celebrities is part of not just the American culture, but all over the world as well. You see them in your favorite television shows, movies, and plays. You listen to their music and go to their concerts. But sometimes, the media likes to find about the latest dirt on someone who is very popular or loved by many people. As many people know, Britney Spears is someone who is loved by millions for her music and her looks. But then the media became obsessed with everything she was doing every second of her life. To be honest, I am not the biggest fan of Spears, but I think the media sometimes takes it to far to make themselves involved in a celebrity's personal life, and she is the person who seems to be talked about the most because of how controversial and well-known she is.

TMZ, a celebrity news site and television show, is notorious for getting all of the latest celebrity gossip and following them around if they are spotted eating dinner, going for a walk, or spending time with family. They post pictures on their website of celebrities doing what common people do everyday. I think media outlets like TMZ sometimes take their journalism too far. I don't think they should be going out of their way to spot a celebrity, take their picture unknowingly, and post it on the internet or in a newspaper. One brief article they posted today was about...you guessed it...Britney Spears getting into a Maserati. It reads:

"Britney and her bodyguard visited the  Maserati earlier dealership today in Calabasas, CA -- where she was spotted riding shotgun in the car, which is worth well over $100,000.

Britney is such a driven person.

BTW: Britney is on a $500 a week allowance and can't buy the car without a judge's approval ... and we're pretty sure that's not how the judge rolls."

There are two pictures attached to the article, each of them with a shot of Spears in the expensive car. She is one of many celebrities that get followed around every day of their lives by the media. Now the question I ask myself when I found this is why should the media have to post something like this and why should I care? The answer is very simple...because she's famous. Celebrities get exposed by the media everyday. Sure, some of them like the attention, but some of them don't and sometimes get annoyed by it. If I'm a big movie star or a famous musician, I wouldn't want to be followed by photographers and video cameras every time I'm spotted in public.

I think the media takes something as simple as covering a famous person's life too far. I don't think they should be interfering with their lives as much as they do today. They are normal people just like us and they behave just like the rest of us. I don't think the media should over expose celebrities just because they are famous and because everybody knows who they are. Honestly, I don't really care what a famous person is doing everyday, but a lot of people love it and even set career paths for themselves to get themselves involved in that world. That is a world I don't think I could work for without questioning my ethical values.


"Britney Spears -- Maserati Test Ride | TMZ.com." Celebrity Gossip | Entertainment News |    Celebrity News | TMZ.com. 10 Feb. 2010. Web. 10 Feb. 2010. <http://www.tmz.com/2010/02/10/britney-spears-maserati-test-ride-photo-picture/>.

Undercover Journalism

 | | 0 TrackBacks
Undercover journalism is nothing new to the media. However at some point it has crossed my mind how undercover is too much? Being followed by hidden cameras or microphones seem to be a bit of invasion of privacy to me.

However if one is in plain view they can be video tapped or recorded all they want. This law and form of journalism is a bit questionable to me. If I found out that I was being recorded or tapped I personally would feel a bit violated. Now there are some cases as we saw in Tuesday's class that makes this sneaky form of investigation helpful to people.

We saw business men being followed with hidden cameras to record their concrete convention trip. The man that who was being interviewed claimed he did all of these things that will inform him and his coworkers on concrete. We saw him literally lie to the interviewers face. And found it comical when he got caught. He truly got caught red handed and us and viewers could tell he was completely embarrassed. Even though he did something undeniably wrong, a part of me felt terrible for him. I could not imagine being followed and tapped and recorded. I would feel like I was naked to the entire world. Personally I think it is a bit creepy and even unethical to do such a thing. I know it helped out tax payers but at the same time would you want to be followed with out even knowing it. Trust in people would be lost immediately. You never can really know who is next to you or in this case following your every move. 

Bob Steele quotes "I believe irresponsible journalism undermines public support for the First Amendment and the essential role of the free press in our democratic society." Is there a point where hidden cameras can cross the line of the First Amendment? The books basically say no, however I disagree.

I can not sit and say that I support hidden camera use. I think it is completely an invasion of privacy and degrading in a sense . If a person truly does not have trust in another person whether it be an employee or partner there has got to be another way of going about it than invading their personal space and privacy. Hidden cameras clearly are used for good, however I can not say I would ever like to form investigations from hidden camera use.

Steele, B. (2007, February 19). Everyday Ethics. Retrieved from http://www.poynter.org/ 


Mina Lee- Blog 4: "Deception in Journalism"

 | | 0 TrackBacks

Part 1:

So I was looking for a topic to talk about and I came across this video blog about a journalist who got in to North Korea "disguised" as a tourist. While, the video blog is VERY interesting and amusing, I was wondering at the same time, was the deception ethical in this case?


Part 2:

After thinking about it, I realized that, yes, what they did was deceptive, but it was also their only means of obtaining the information. It is true that the profession of journalism is already struggling for credibility (Walker 2005), but I believe that what they did followed all guidelines from Kovach & Rosenstiel, as well as Bob Steele. The information they received was very informative and, I believe, important, because it reveals to the public something that is not seen everyday. This man has exposed the isolated and bizarre lifestyle these North Koreans live. Also, I believe that the false identity was necessary because it is nearly impossible for journalists to get into the country and the information they obtained was eye-opening. The journalists were very open about why they were doing what they were doing and did not hide the fact that they wanted to make a documentary on this country.


Part 3:

This isn't something that is new to the journalistic world. There are many cases in which journalists and reporters have gone undercover or altered their identity to get the story. However, it is definitely something that is not advocated. In fact, in the last several decades, Pulitzer judges have discouraged undercover reporting by refusing to award prizes to reporters who engage in deception (Paterno 1997). We learn that "truth breeds trust," but I feel that in some cases, a little white lie wouldn't hurt. In this case, the guys were taking a big risk themselves for deceiving North Korea. I believe that their untruths helped to bring about the truths of the matter.


Part 4:


Paterno, S. (1997). The Lying Game. American Journalism Review. Retrieved from




Smith, S. (2010, February 10). Vice guide to North Korea. Message posted to




(2009). VBS Blog.


Walker, J. (2005). Undercover Journalism and Credibility. PressEthic. Retrieved from





Blog #4 Leah Green

 | | 0 TrackBacks
Leah Green
Blog #4

I was going to talk about undercover journalism as most people did but I than remembered the video we watched in class about the girl who decided to streak in the middle of graduation.  I thought this would be a good topic to talk about since when I attended my sister's senior high school graduation something like that happened but not quite as inappropriate.  I was actually really surprised when watching that video that someone really needed that much attention that they felt that was necessary to do that during graduation.
When I was at my sister's graduation it was on the football field with thousands of people there since our high school is very big.  Everything seemed to be going smoothly until a girl decided to act out when she was called up.  The principal called her name up to get her diploma she took it and as she was walking off stage someone takes your picture.  She decided to throw her diploma give the middle finger and put her hands up in the air and walked right past the camera the complete opposite direction of everyone else.  Now everyone (all the parents and family) were all on bleachers. Clearly all the families and teachers watching the students could see everything this girl was doing walking down the field thinking she was hilarious.  You now see this girl storming off laughing to her friends who are videoing this happening.  She made quite a scene and everyone could not believe this was going on.  She did this for attention and I thought it was pretty rude. After she did that they had to continue calling peoples names to graduate but everyone was so focused on her walking away I feel like it took attention away from the kids going up right after her. Apparently before she went up she asked someone to grab her stuff but people weren't really sure what was going on.  Soon as we got home she posted a video on face book saying "big bad college graduate" and posted the video of her storming off on graduation cracking up.  It was so rude and un called for.
I looked on YouTube and browsed around and saw many cases where kids tend to act out during graduation. A few beach balls being thrown is common but one that was talked about on CBS WRGB in Albany a kid who had already graduated attended a graduation in a very inappropriate costume. He randomly was on the stage with quite a costume on and started shooting silly string everywhere.  He was charged with disorderly conduct.  I think this is funny I would probably laugh if I was there but it just amazes me who has the guts to do that.  I guess these kids really don't care and are just trying to make a memorable moment?

Strack , Shawn. "Man in costume streaks graduation with silly string." CBS 6 WRGB. 6/26/08. CBS, Web. 10 Feb 2010. <http://www.cbs6albany.com/news/graduation-1255881-gowns-penis.html>.

Ethical Thinking... Blog 4

 | | 0 TrackBacks

After watching several news clips in class on February 9th on deception, a lot of ethical thoughts came to mind. The clip about the public officials who wasted to taxpayers' dollars showed a valid point about when deception and undercover reporting is acceptable. The class viewed another news clip about a child and her father who was in jail. The ethical issue was whether it was fair to show only one side of the story. I noticed that many classmates said it was not right to show that news clip. It was sensational, siding with the accused murderer by showing him in a sympathetic manner and would be impossible for the victims' family to watch. I found these thoughts quite interesting. Most news clips about murderers also show only one said of the person's life: the side that has been accused of murderer. We generally don't hear about his 3-year-old son and wife who visit him in jail every week. Does that make that reporting wrong? Why is it okay to withhold one side of the truth, and not okay to withhold another side of the truth? It can seem like a double standard.

            The other ethical issue we discussed in class about the said news clip is whether it was appropriate to show the daughter's face throughout the footage. When she grows up, will she want this news clip about her delicate family history to be available to the public? I agreed with many other classmates in that it's not entirely correct to show the girl's face. She is only a child, and does not have the ability to speak for herself. Ammu Joseph, who wrote Why Children Should be Seen and Heard, argued that a child's role in the media is unfair. Joseph said, "Interestingly, if children are generally missing from the text, they tend to appear quite frequently in photographs." He said that oftentimes when children are seen in the news media, they're portrayed as victims. "Even they are silent," he said. "Rarely are their experiences and opinions taken into account."

            The news clip, although unfairly brought the child's face into the public eye, was a creative way to "localize" the national statistic that $1.5 million children have a parent in jail, and that number has raised by 500,000 in the past year. While the news clip didn't provide details about the murderer's accusation, it wasn't necessary because that wasn't the purpose of this news clip. 

Zach Schmidt- Blog 4:Undercover Journalism

 | | 0 TrackBacks

One of the ethical issues that caught my eye was the issue that we discussed this week in class. The idea of deception in journalism and the question that asks, is it right to use-hidden cameras or microphones to get a story?  We see this all to often in journalism; usually it is a hidden camera story that exploits the wrong doings of some individuals in our community. But we have to ask ourselves is it worth it and in turn is it ethical to do so?


The case study that we viewed on Tuesday's class is an excellent example of what the issue is. The case study showed a group of 3 men who worked for an engineering company in Texas and went to Las Vegas for a concrete convention. These trips that they were taking were being paid for by taxpayers money in hopes that the group of gentlemen would find more information to help the people around them. The video showed the men's three-day trip, which consisted of a twenty-minute visit to the convention and the rest of the trip at the casino or other areas of the hotel.


The news team uncovered the actions that really took place during the trip and as a result of their report had the men fired. Stories like these tend to cause an upheaval in local communities and raise a lot of question about what is going on with officials.


Undercover journalism is an aspect of the career that is extremely hard for me to completely stand behind. I realize the reasons for undercover journalism and that the story would not have been uncovered without it. But I have trouble believing in an aspect of the job that allows people to lie just to uncover the story. However like most other journalists would agree it is sometime necessary.


 Bob Steele points out that you must have the right criteria and motives when using undercover journalism and you must, "prevent profound harm to individuals." (Steele).  But what about the men who lost their jobs, how do we measure profound harm?


The center of journalism ethics for the University of Wisconsin lists this issue as one of the most questionable ethical issues, and I agree (University of Wisconson) There is no clear-cut answer to what is right and what is wrong.


Although I have trouble supporting this issue completely I have to agree that if it is for the greater good of the community and your viewers, it must be done. There is a lot of corruption around us in day-to-day life and there is no other way of exposing it unless the reporting is done undercover.



Barney, Ralph. Black, Jay. Steele, Bob From Doing Ethics in Journalism, The Society of Professional Journalists. http://www.poynter.org/content/content_view.asp?id=866


School of Journalism & Mass Communication, University of Wisconsin-Madison. 2009.

Spring Festival Overture (Chinese music)

 | | 0 TrackBacks
As you may (or may not) know, Spring Festival, the most important of traditional Chinese holidays, is approaching (Feb. 14, 2010). According to Chinese calendar, the coming year will be 4707, Year of Tiger. There will be a lot of celebration during the Spring Festival, which lasts for 15 days. Music is always part of the celebration. Enjoy the traditional Chinese music "Spring Festival Overture," which always makes me feel homesick. I know, I know it's snowing outside. Hope the music makes you feel warm.

Happy Spring Festival to You All!

Somer Wiggins: Blog 4- Unethical Reporting: Blogging

 | | 0 TrackBacks

While perusing through the New York Times Web site, looking for a topic for this blog post, I found an article about the ethics of blogging and I couldn't agree more with the author, Adam Cohen.

Cohen's article "The Latest Rumblings in the Blogosphere: Questions about Ethics," he criticizes blogs for their lack of serious journalism and points out the hypocrisy of many.

            With the growing importance of the Internet and fast communication, we want our news faster than ever before and we're getting it, but at what cost?

            A big one I think. Blogs are not held accountable, rarely explicitly stating the author. And in their hurry to get out the news, they aren't checking their facts, instead settling for corrections to their original posts throughout the day. Even one local blog has fallen victim to this mindset.

            I'm sorry, but that is not journalism. Journalism is, once again, about reporting the TRUTH. This is why have ethical codes in journalism, though to be honest, we shouldn't need them. You should take enough pride in your work and talent that you don't need to plagiarize or spread rumors without factual evidence.

            And what's ironic about this is that, as Cohen points out, bloggers will be the first to criticize the "Mainstream Media" when they make a mistake. I mean, that's why blogs started, as an alternative to Mainstream Media, in hopes of changing reporting that they found lacking.

Cohen uses the example of Dan Rather's erroneous report about Bush's National Guard service where bloggers wrote that he should have fact-checked better and criticized him for not admitting and correcting mistakes. But Cohen makes a fantastic point when he says "But Mr. Rather's ... misdeeds would most likely not have landed [him] in trouble in the world of bloggers, where few rules apply."

            It is difficult to police bloggers simply because there are so many of them and they know that so many are unconcerned about consequences of inaccurate and biased reporting.

            Many bloggers only report or write about the point of view they are in favor of. Cohen points out that, "Reporters should avoid conflicts of interest, even significant appearances of conflicts, and disclose any significant ones." This is to say, if you have a conflict of interest, you shouldn't be writing a story about that. Reporting is intended to be unbiased.

            And while I will concede that there are many facets of the Mainstream Media that are less than neutral, if you want to criticize them, don't be a hypocrite; it completely invalidates your argument. I think Cohen said it best when he said, "As blogs grow in readers and influence, bloggers should realize that if they want to reform the American media, that is going to have to include reforming themselves."

            Bloggers, if you're looking for change, take Michael Jackson's advice and start by looking at the man in the mirror.


Cohen, A. (2005, May 8). "The Latest rumblings in the Blogosphere: Questions about Ethics." The New York Times. <http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/08/opinion/08sun3.html?_r=1&scp=10&sq=ethics&st=cse>

Tyler Sizemore - Blog 4: Photographing Haiti

 | | 0 TrackBacks

Photojournalists often confront many ethical dilemmas in their daily work, but photographing the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti took those ethical questions to a whole new level.

TIME Managing Editor Richard Stengel said "Our reporters and photographers were confronted by Hatian men and women who said Put down your cameras. Put down your pens. Do something.  Help us.  It is a gut-wrenching challenge."

This was a predicament which tested the mettle of the photojournalists sent to photograph Haiti.  Surrounded by so much death and tragedy it is the natural human instinct to help out and try to save people from the disaster which surrounds them.  However, the job of the photographers is obviously to take pictures which report the truth of what is happening in Haiti.

Taking these pictures and letting the public know about the disaster could actually be more helpful than helping first-hand.

"When we shine a light on a natural disaster like Haiti, we force the world to take notice and foster the will to take action," said Stengel.  "True, we are not giving immediate aid to those individuals who need it.  But our writing and reporting make the case for fixing what is broken, and in doing so, for helping thousands, millions."

This statement is true in that while it may seem more beneficial to be helping directly by getting involved in rescue efforts in Haiti, it may actually be more beneficial to take pictures and report the news to the rest of the world.  In turn with national recognition that the earthquake received, donations came pouring in by the hundreds of thousands which saved many more lives than if the world was not informed about the tragedy in Haiti.

"The enormous outpouring of both sympathy and dollars after the earthquake came about in part because journalists have focused a remorseless light on Haiti," said Stengel.

For TIME exclusive photographs from Haiti, follow this link: http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1954087,00.html


Stengel, Richard. "TO REPORT AND RESPOND." Time Earthquake Haiti: Tragedy and Hope 2010: 6. Print.

Whitni Rouse: Blog 4: "Dominican Republic copter crash kills 2 Americans on Haiti Mission."

 | | 0 TrackBacks

I stumbled across this article on CNN'S website and I thought it was a very intersting article to look into. The article is about two people that were killed on a flight on their way to Haiti to help the people  that were devasted by the earthquake. What ethical information that I am bringing up in this article is what was discussed in class about not being deceitful because as a journalist it's important to be completely honest with your audience and to not withhold any information from the audience, but I also wonder how far can this idea in journalism go? In the article, a picture of one of the guys that was killed in the crash was featured in the article and I am not too sure if was a good idea.

I know that displaying his picture will allow people to have an image of someone who wanted to do good for the people in Haiti, but how much do we need to know about the guy? Sometimes I think the news goes too far because when someone is killed tragically the news always shows what killed the person and a picture of the person who was killed. I don't thlink that the audience would feel deceived if the news didn't show a picture of the person who was killed. What need does that provide for the audience? I know if I lost someone that was very close to me I don't think I would want everyone in the world to know what that person looks like even if they died doing something helpful. I think what the person looks like should be kept personal.

In an article titled " Cornwall sex-abuse inquiry not 'truly public', Terry Saunders, a journalist, says that journalist has a responsibilty to the public to be its eyes and ears to the public. So many journalists believe that they have a duty to give the public all of the information that they have because it's their job. But if I were a journalist I would think that the public does deserve to know what's going on in the world, but I would check with the family of the victim to make sure that it was okay to release certain information. Of course it also depends on what kind of case it is, but when people have been killed in tragic accidents that should be handled a little differently.

It's still important to discuss the issue of withholding information from the topic because journalists and the public will always disagree on how much information the public has a right to know. I think it depends on what type of issue it is and if it's a tragic event then certain things should be withheld from the public because the audience doesn't need to know everything.

Watkins, T. (2010, Feb 5). "Dominican Republic copter kills 2 Americans on Haiti mission." CNN.http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/americas/02/05/dominican.helicopter.crash/index.html

(2006, November 8). "Cornwall sex-abuse inquiry not 'truly public':journalist." CBS News.<http://www.cbc.ca/news/story/2006/11/08/cornwall-bans.html


Kaitlin Mottola: Blog 4 - "Child's attemped murder exposed?"

 | | 0 TrackBacks

                I saw a story on CNN's Web site this morning about a young 12-year-old boy who was possibly facing adult murder charges for shooting his pregnant stepmother to death. When I saw this article, I thought of our ethics class and how wrong or right this story may be to broadcast. Should a story like this be published? Does the general public really need to know of a young boy facing murder charges?

                Everyone knows that a story involving murder will make headlines. But when you throw in the fact that a child is the possible suspect, it really catches the public's attention. Why is this? Would a mother or father really want their child subjected to this kind of attention? Given the boy's actions, a crime of this extent was sure to get out. And maybe it should. In May 2009, the boy was found not guilty. He would have been charged with two counts of homicide; one for the mother and one for the fetus. If the boy had been guilty, he would be given a life sentence in prison without the possibility of parole. The case arrived at the Supreme Court this year, and one wonders if it is ethical to expose a then 11-year-old to the harsh prison life. They are challenging the idea of whether it is right to charge children under 14 as adults.

                The article goes on to discuss a small amount of detail as far as the murder went. It mentions the details of his new life, saying things such as "His attorney's say Jordan is still unable to grasp the magnitude of what is happening to him. He is doing well in counseling, his attorneys and family say." Does that statement almost contradict the writing of the story to begin with? The boy is not yet old enough to know what he may or may not have done. Some argue that his brain is not yet fully developed, meaning he should not be charged for his actions. The article also stated that, "It also is rare for an 11-year-old to commit a violent crime. In his 30-year analysis of juvenile homicides, Northeastern University criminologist James Alan Fox found about 500 cases of children younger than 11 who were suspected of murder."

                However, he still may have committed the crime. No one knows as of this year. The media has a right to report what is news and this was, in fact, news. The violent nature of the crime should not matter as far as age goes because there was still a huge wrong committed. Given, this story will change his life forever. Lawrence Steinberg, psychologist, said in an interview with Margaret Werner, PBS, in August 1998 that, "Competence to stand trial is typically something that we think about in adult criminal court and typically we think about it with respect to individuals who are mentally ill or mentally retarded. Because of these recent crimes, in which children are very, very young, new kinds of issues about whether kids this age can participate in their own defense are being raised."

                In conclusion, I myself would definitely report this story. It could change another ruling in the Supreme Court with their decision on whether or not to convict anyone younger than 14-years-old. It is something that the general public should know about, as it can educate one in future situations that may occur. I feel as though there are still many lessons to be learned when it comes to this specific issue. It is still debated as to what may be right or wrong, and I'm very curious to find out what the outcome will be years down the road.




Chen, S. (2010, Feb 10). Boy, 12, faces grown up murder charges. CNN. Retrieved February 10, 2010 from http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/02/10/pennsylvania.young.murder.defendant/index.html?hpt=C1.

(1998, Aug 11). Innocence Lost. The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer Transcript. Retrieved February 10, 2010 from http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/youth/july-dec98/murder_8-11.html.




Dan LePera: Blog 4- Undercover Journalism

 | | 0 TrackBacks

When I sat down to write this blog I could not help but think about the lecture and video we saw on undercover reporting. What those workers did was inexcusable. They wasted the dollars of the taxpayers and took a vacation.

The video of the workers in Las Vegas was sort of like déjà vu for me. A few years back in my hometown of Philadelphia, there was a similar story. Two men I knew very well were exposed. These two men worked for the Philadelphia Water Department and as it turned out, they would use company time to do things such as grocery shopping or working out at the gym. A cameraman secretly followed them throughout the day and uncovered their unethical behavior, as well as other company workers.

This was a big story, because people thought they should not have been exposed like this, and others thought this should have been discovered a while ago. There is a certain privacy that people expect; however it is part of a journalist's job to uncover the truth, when it needs to be uncovered. When does someone deserve protection or privacy from the media and when do they need to be exposed?

A television station can be held liable; if someone is considered a private citizen and has not done anything to concede their unspoken right to treatment in the news or on television, that being either intentional or unintentional. Once someone puts himself or herself into the public eye, they lose their right to privacy (Carter, 2009).

Personally, I feel that when you ask non-journalists what they think about undercover journalism, the majority would strongly dislike it. People do not like to have anything that can jeopardize their privacy and in turn, uncover their unethical ways. However the proof is in the pudding and thanks to undercover reporting many problems in the past were exposed and will continue to be exposed.

An example of great undercover journalism is those journalists from ABC who uncovered what was happening at Food Lion. The investigation "revealed that the grocery chain was using bleach to cover up the smell of rotting beef it was selling to consumers" (Silverstein, 2007).

It is very hard for a person to be everywhere. They count on journalists to tell them that that they cannot find out on their own. If people are being taken advantage of when it comes to their money, it is the jobs of journalists to reveal this. If this causes people to lose their jobs then so be it, but the use of undercover journalism will help in cleaning up the trash, or those who are unethical in their daily lives.





Carter, K. (2009, October 1). Television journalism and the right to privacy. Suite101, Retrieved from http://televisionproduction.suite101.com/article.cfm/television_journalism_and_the_right_to_privacy


Silverstein, K. (2007, June 25). Kurtz on undercover journalism: "the horror!". Harper's Magazine, Retrieved from


Nick Bendowski: Blog 4- Coverage in Haiti

 | | 0 TrackBacks
     Recently I've been noticing, mainly through internet research, how journalists have been covering, and getting involved with, the issues in Haiti. When it comes to interaction and involvement, what's too much and when is intervention okay?


     The above photograph is from Haiti in 2004. Although it does not directly relate to the earthquake aftermath, it nonetheless resembles the situation currently going on in the country (pertaining to looters, police force, etc.) The journalist pictured, Michael Laughlin, of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, was shot in the face and shoulder by an unknown gunman immediately after this photo was taken. So, when is getting coverage going too far? It's not as if Laughlin was helping the situation in any way. If anything he was directly interfering with the situation. The injuries are nobody's fault except Laughlin's own.
     Check out the following link from CNN:
Anderson Cooper Saves Boy From Looters
Was Anderson Cooper justified in his actions? In my opinion, he did the right and humane thing. However, I think it is necessary to evaluate the situation under the guidelines described by Poynter's Bob Steele in chapter four of The Ethical Journalist for further insight.

1. Is the danger imminent?
Yes, danger certainly was imminent in this situation. Looters were in conflict with police,  
     and the young boy was already seriously injured in an unsafe location.

2. Is the danger profound?
Yes, based on the context of the situation, as described under question one, the danger   
     was profound.

3. Is there anyone else present who can help?
Although we can't be certain (like Wolf Blitzer indicated), it appears as if others were present to help the boy. It appears as if there initially wasn't anyone ready to help the child, so in that respect I believe Cooper acted appropriately.

4. Do you, the journalist, possess special skills needed in the situation?
Once again, the answer to this question in unclear. What special skills would initially be  
     needed? The ability to carry the boy to a safer location? Almost anyone can do that.  
     Whether Cooper knows first aid we can't be sure, however 'special skills' weren't exactly
     needed to get the boy out of harm's way.

     So, as you can see, the question of ethics when acting to save a life or prevent injury, is rather ambiguous. What it comes down to, essentially, is your moral background and to what extent you as an individual would go in order to help a fellow human being. 
    Covering a news story in a field of violence, I would personally be certain to never interfere with any overly dangerous persons or activities. However, in the case of Anderson Cooper, I maintain the belief that he acted appropriately. I think that if I were in the same situation I would take similar action because the threat of injury didn't seem very great for a mature male. While I understand that others might not think the same way as I, it's important to accept the guidelines established by Bob Steele and to follow them according to one's own sound set of moral ethics. 

Porter, T. (2004, March 8). Journalists caught in haiti's violence. Retrieved from  
Cnn anderson cooper saves boy from looters in haiti. (2010). [Web]. Retrieved from 
Foreman, G. . (2010). The Ethical journalist. West Sussex, UK:

Danielle Einhorn: Blog 4- Photo Manipulation

 | | 0 TrackBacks

An ethical topic of interest to me that has generated much attention over the past few years is photo manipulation. With all of the new, readily available technology, altering a photo is not very hard to do. More times than not, it is tempting for a photojournalist to "polish" his or her photo to make it a seemingly perfect picture. However, these fabricated photographs are, in my opinion and the opinion of many others, highly unethical and is often times punishable.

I was reading an interesting article entitled Falsification of History (the author is unknown) and was actually very intrigued by what whoever wrote the article had to say. He or she discussed how photo manipulation was heavily utilized by communist Russia. People in the photograph who were "unwanted" or "enemies of the people" were simply taken out of historical pictures. For instance, when Leon Trotsky was a good friend of Lenin's, there were many photos taken of the two of them together. However, after Trotsky was deported because Stalin saw him as threat, Trotsky was taken out of all pictures with Lenin, thus altering history a bit. I found it noteworthy because the author brought up a good point in that many photos that are retouched today are in some way or another changing history. This all sounds too much to me like George Orwell's 1984 and Big Brother's efforts to control the past, present, and future.

Another point of interest, which was brought up in an article from USA Today, is deception. Stephen Grote of the Art Institute of Atlanta feels that, "Breaking that unspoken contract of trust with the public can be costly. It degrades the value of the publication." As is the case with journalists who write fabricated articles, doctoring photos is considered lying to the audience. I had mentioned in a previous blog that the public has the right to trust that whatever is being reported to them is true, or in this case pictures in a magazine or newspaper are real photos.

Additionally, any picture that has been retouched is no longer authentic, even if it is only taking the smallest objects away. For example, the famous photo of student from Kent State University bent down next to another student's lifeless body (he was gunned down) won a Pulitzer Prize when it was published in Life Magazine, but it was later discovered that a pole was removed. Not only was it stripped of its authenticity, but it is also a fabrication (in my opinion, this situation is very similar to Janet Cooke's story which also one a Pulitzer but was later returned because the entire story was made up).

This issue remains important because it is still occurring despite various punishments that have been dealt. Photo manipulation is tampering with our history and our trust and needs to be stopped before it's too late.




Falsification of History. Retrieved from <http://www.tc.umn.edu/~hick0088/classes/csci_2101/false.html>

Leach, Susan Llewelyn. (2005, February 2). In the Photoshop era, it's harder to trust your eyes. USAToday.com. Retrieved from http://www.usatoday.com

Tom Hannifan: Blog 4 - Journalistic Ethics in Haiti

 | | 0 TrackBacks

The tragedy in Haiti has rightfully gained global attention in recent weeks. The effort to rebuild a nation and save millions of lives is a story that the world needs to know. The aftermath of the earthquakes that left cities like Port-au-Prince in rubble as aid continues to pour in. While the world wants more news on the situation in the Caribbean, many have begun to ask questions about where journalists draw the line between reporter and rescuer.


Journalists have always dealt with this line in the sand regardless of the conflict or tragedy. With the devastation in Haiti so overwhelming, the average person can't help but question how reporters don't forget about work and try to help. SPJ President Kevin Smith offered these words on the circumstances faced by journalists in Haiti:


"No one wants to see human suffering, and reporting on these events can certainly take on a personal dimension. But participating in events, even with the intention of dramatizing the humanity of the situation, takes news reporting in a different direction and places journalists in a situation they should not be in, and that is one of forgoing their roles as informants," (Society of Professional Journalists, 2010).


While we can all appreciate the thoughts of SPJ members, it may be more difficult to take my next source seriously. In a recent interview on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart", NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams stressed the importance of reporting the story in Haiti. Working alongside such professionals as CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta-physicians who are also reporting the news-it is inevitable for journalists to feel the urge to help. 


"If we weren't there working and sending out the pictures and telling the story, the world doesn't know about it," said Williams. "So the world knowing about it triggers billions of dollars given to that cause. So you've got to keep telling yourself that it is a job," (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, 2010).


Unfortunately, reporters are thrust into war zones and disaster areas all too often. The debate over the ethical responsibility of reporters in such situations will infinitely continue. One of the first lectures in our class was about a journalist killed by sniper fire while attempting to check on a wounded soldier in Angola (Zhong, 2010). Although the responsibility might have to report the news to the world, the human desire to help others is undeniable.


The topic will continue to be widely debated as long as the Haitian people are in desperation. The media will continue to provide us with the latest news from the Caribbean and hopefully the situation will improve in the coming months. Hopefully the tremendous generosity of nations the world over have given hope to the small country and, on a far less important point, will ensure that journalists don't have to deal with that ethical dilemma.


While I believe that as journalists it is of paramount importance to maintain our ethics and morals within our profession, I would never even think to lay criticism on a colleague who offered a helping hand. There has to be a breaking point for human suffering to which a person feels the urge to respond. Given the gravity of the tragedy in Haiti, I would be stunned to learn if any of the scores of reporters on the island had not already given their assistance in some way.




***As a side note, the attached reference to the video of the Brian Williams interview is absolutely worth watching. Williams' thoughts on the ethical issues facing journalists in Haiti is right on and fortunately only parts of the interview fall into The Daily Show's usual routine of satire.






1. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. (2010, February 2). Hulu - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart: Brian Williams. Hulu - Watch your favorites. Anytime. For free.. Retrieved February 9, 2010, from http://www.hulu.com/watch/125616/the-daily-show-with-jon-stewart-brian-williams?c=Comedy#s-p3-sr-i1


2.  Society of Professional Journalists. (n.d.). Society of Professional Journalists: SPJ News. Society of Professional Journalists. Retrieved February 9, 2010, from http://www.spj.org/news.asp?ref=948


3.  Zhong, B. (Director) (2010, January 14). Decision Making & EDM. COMM 409. Lecture conducted from Pennsylvania State University, University Park.

Blog #3(fixed): Shattered Glass Response

 | | 0 TrackBacks

The movie "Shattered Glass" that we watched in class was definitely an eye-opener for me as a journalism major, but also for anyone in the communications field. Stephen Glass was a young reporter at the New Republic and was searching for that big story that would put him on top. I found this to be extremely selfish as the movie played out. Instead of actually looking for these stories, he fabricated people, places and events to grab everyone's attention. 

While watching the movie I felt on edge, just waiting for the moment when it all backfires and his editor caught him. He was going to law school and dealing with a huge amount of pressure. He wanted to keep up with his work, so he felt in order to do so he should fabricate some stories. We have all been in a situation with a time crunch but for Stephen Glass, one lie lead to another, and another, and another.  He also is very similar to Janet Cooke in that he was looking for honor and a Pulitzer at such a young age.

This creates huge ethical problems because he is trusted by the readers of the New Republic to report the truth and not be so concerned with how exciting the story itself is. Also, the entire publication was a joke because of him. Since he got away with all the lies, how do they know for sure that other journalists there weren't making the same choices? He jeopardized the reputation of the publication while tarnishing his own name.  I still find it unbelievable that he was strategic enough to make up fake business cards and websites to fool the fact-checkers, but didn't apply any of that energy into looking for a real story.

When we watched the 60-Minutes interview with Glass I felt as though he is still looking for sympathy as he was in the movie. He graduated law school and saw a therapist and wants to be accepted by the Bar, but no reputable firm will employ him either. He mentioned how he would start with "Fact A" which was true, then "Fact B, C and D" would be less and less true. Basically, everything is a lie because as it turns out, Fact A was often false because the events, such as the Hacker's Convention, never happened.

It's extremely important for journalism majors to be taking this course. You don't really notice how embellishing a story or paper for a class could hurt you.  I think learning from other people's mistakes is an important way to avoid making the same ones yourself.  I would never want to be in Glass' place and considered so untrustworthy that I can't be hired by another publication. It also makes me want to be sure that my stories are unbiased and reporting not just what people want to read.

"I lied for Esteem." Interview by Steve Kroft. CBS News. 17 Aug. 2003. Web. 8 Feb. 2010. <http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/05/07/60minutes/main552819.shtml>.


Audio editing ethics

 | | 0 TrackBacks
Reporting with sound isn't just a technical challenge-it can raise ethical issues as well.  How do you gather sound in the field and how do you use it? How much editing is okay?

Read the full article on NewsLab.org

Morgan Jones: Blog 4 - Couric's Bazaar

 | | 0 TrackBacks

I love fashion magazines.  I love them so much that instead of asking for the latest handbag for Christmas, I ask for subscriptions to fashion magazines.  Although I love browsing through fashion trends and tips, I also like reading about whoever is on the cover for that month.  But sometimes it gets monotonous when the same movie stars, models, and singers are featured on the covers answering the same questions over and over again.  Whoever is featured is usually someone trying to promote their latest movie or album etc.  This past Christmas, I got subscriptions to ELLE and Harper's Bazaar, two of my favorites, but two that also fall into the category of featuring the hottest popular icon at the time.  I don't blame them for using that tactic because it's all about selling copies, but after awhile, I itch for something new.

Thats why when I was saw on cnn.com that Katie Couric would be featured on the cover of Harper's Bazaar for the March issue, I was pleasantly surprised.  Couric is a different kind of role model and I am glad that she is going to be showcased in the glossy because its like a breath of fresh air.  She contributes a different kind of motivation and example of hard work that is not usually found in the Hollywood crowd.  Couric will share with Harper's Bazaar what its like to be a woman in network news and also share candid facts about her personal life.  In keeping with fashion mag tradition, she will be glammed up for her photoshoot and is characterized as "sexy and chic" in the CNN article.  I think it is awesome that a hard working woman like Couric is being recognized by the fashion culture and will be able to show women aspiring to be successful in the media industry, or in any industry, that it is possible to still be "sexy and chic" without being the latest movie star, model, or singer and to show how hard work pays off.  As a customer of Harper's Bazaar, I am very excited to receive the March issue.  Hoping to be in the media industry when I graduate from college myself, I am anticipating reading about her point of view and hope that magazines will go in this direction more in the future.  I think real women like Couric should be on covers more often. 

Blog 3-Haiti

 | | 0 TrackBacks
Something that I thought about when it came time to do this blog was the tragic events in Haiti.  One of the main things was how the media presented it.  Certain stations like NBC showed some of the actual events going on while they were in Haiti. 

Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN when I would watch it, would broadcast from Haiti, made me think about how thankful I was to be where I am.  What he did while he was there was show some more destruction that most of the others didn't display.  I do think it was a good decision to show more of an angle that most wouldn't get to see not just for ratings, but to make people think about what they would be doing if they were in the places of the earthquake victims. 

After seeing this destruction from a journalist's view, I would say it was a good choice to show more so people could see that you were all about showing what's happening there and not just in the United States.  If I had to make a choice regarding whether or not to cover a disaster like this and how much to show, I'll admit I'd have to really give it some long thought like "sleeping it over" and decide after I would wake up the next morning.

Luca Viglione: Blog 4 - Gambling

 | | 0 TrackBacks
The other day in class we discussed why sports journalism and news journalism differ in ethics. The one thing I did not understand about the discussion was why it's unethical for sports journalists to gamble on the sports they cover. The journalists do not have an influence on the games and cannot change the outcome like players can. They have no more information than the general public on the games.

I guess I just cannot find anything unethical with gambling. If they want to waste their money on gambling, they should have every right to. They are not affecting the outcome of the game and can't influence in anyway shape or form. I do not think there is anything wrong with gambling.

I also don't see what's wrong with accepting gifts or "freebies." By accepting the gifts, that doesn't necessarily mean their journalistic integrity is compromised. If you think about it, every sports journalist is biased because they favor the winning team no matter who they are.

The winning team usually gets the most of the press no matter what sport is being played. No one wants to read about the losing team, unless, of course, they are your favorite team. Asking for extra tickets for family members or colleagues or what have you is unethical. But, if just your trip is paid for, then I do not see anything wrong with that.

Basically, I cannot find anything unethical with the way sports journalism is practiced.


 | | 0 TrackBacks
A question was mentioned on the test about how much money it took to make the Avatar movie and I thought the amount was understandable. There is so much technology that was used in that movie and different graphics that it would make sense for that movie to costs millions of dollars to make. Plus, the creatures were more cartoon-ish and then they had actual humans in the movie which had to take a lot of time and energy to put together. I just think movies like that show how far technology has come and how far it has to go. It truly is amazing and I can't wait to see what kind of movies come out within the next year.

Caity Rogowski Blog 3 - Challenging Ethics: Shattered Glass

 | | 0 TrackBacks

COMM 409 Blog 3: Shattered Glass Reaction

The story of the downfall of journalist Stephen Glass is one that everyone studying journalism should know.  It was a great introduction to the subject of our COMM 409 News Media Ethics class.  The premise of the situation is that Steve Glass was a young journalist working for a major magazine in Washington D.C., and instead of reporting strictly factual stories, he elaborated almost everything he wrote.  He always seemed to have the most interesting stories, and when asked he was always able to pass the fact checks.  The reality was that he made up characters, forged voicemails, created fake email accounts, and lied to not only the readers but also his coworkers, family, and friends. 

Not only did Steve Glass lose his job as a result of his lies, he also discredited himself for the rest of his career.  He will no longer be able to be trusted not only as a journalist but also as a person.  He put the reputation of the magazine he worked for, and the people he worked with at risk. The fact that he was able to print so many false stories for the New Republic without getting caught also sheds a negative light on the rest of the employees at the publication.  It shows that they might not be as efficient as they should be when checking the facts of stories, therefore making their entire publication untrustworthy. 

No one can really explain why Steve decided to do this.  You can say he was under pressure, nervous as a young reporter in a big city, but when it comes down to it everyone learns what is ethically right and wrong, especially journalists.  Steve Glass didn't lie just once or twice.  He didn't make up trivial parts of a story that could be played off as irrelevant.  He reported fake stories after fake stories, created a gigantic web of lies to cover his tracks, deceived people who trusted him, and did this continuously.  An average person may tell a white lie or two in their daily lives, but Steve Glass really took it above and beyond the level of acceptability. 

A CBS 60 Minutes special: "I Lied for Esteem" states that Glass's situation started with the need for the perfect quote.  A news story is only as good as the details a reporter provides.  Quotes from people involved in the issues can really paint a picture for the reader.  Naturally Glass as an up and coming reporter for one of the top magazines in the country felt the pressure of delivering great stories.  Even at the extent of generating details for the sake of the story, rather than simply reporting just the facts.  I think that Glass became addicted to the adrenaline rush of the position he put himself in.  He produced these timeless stories with irrefutably entertaining plot lines, and his coworkers and readers ate them up.  From subjects such as a church worshiping President George HW Bush to a convention of computer hackers, Steve's imagination knew no bounds.  I believe that he loved the feeling of writing these fictitious stories, and then thrived off the feeling of getting away with it time after time. 

The example of Stephen Glass is one that should be not only be taught to all potential journalists, but also to anyone currently in the industry.  Anyone can find themselves in a similar situation: maybe they are pressed to reach a deadline but they don't have that key ingredient that really makes their story great, or maybe they just got a big break at work and this is their first feature story, or maybe it's a seasoned vet stuck in a rut in need of that special spark to really attract the readers.  Regardless, the temptation to embellish a story can taunt anyone.  It's important to continue preaching what is right and wrong, in order to ensure that things like this don't happen again.  Especially when there are already issues with distrust of the government and other people of power in our society today. 


Leung, Rebecca. (2003, August 17). 60 Minutes. Stephen Glass I Lied for Esteem. Retrieved from http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/05/07/

Zhong, Bu. Class Lecture. ETHICAL DECISION MAKING PROCESS. 1/22/10

Lexi Belculfine: Blog 3- "Reaction to Shattered Glass"

 | | 0 TrackBacks
Glass, Shattered and Broken

Glass, Stephen.jpg

Stephen Glass fabricated articles.


 And Stephen Glass lied to cover up this fabrication.


His mistakes were neither innocent, nor unintentional.  Mortal sins in the newsroom, Glass committed both of these transgressions again, and again, and again. As if passing off fiction for news wasn't enough, Glass did everything in his power to cover up this tale-turned-truth, even creating an illegitimate Web site for a fake company, Jukt Micronics.


While there is no encompassing ethical standard or law for journalists, the Society of Professional Journalists has established an accepted code of conduct. The principles set forth are simple -- seek truth and report it, minimize harm and act independently and be accountable.


Glass didn't seek or report the truth. He didn't even try to perform one of these tasks. He created fiction and wrote it -- in 27 of the 41 articles he had written. The Code specifically states, "Deliberate distortion is never permissible." From the articles, to the sources, fake voicemails and Web sites, he continually distorted facts.


I feel the most sympathy for Glass's editors. In our textbook, the manipulation is discussed. They put their faith and trust into their prodigy, but he manipulated the system by knowing how to bypass the fact checking system (Foreman 127). They were helpless to Glass's intentions. Foreman continues to say, "Anyone who sets out to fabricate probably will succeed, at least for a while" (134). The editors could have done little to prevent this transgression.


But I am jealous of Alan Penenberg's role in the Glass saga. He was able to live up to the Code of Ethics, exposing the dirty journalism of The New Yorker's finest. Though probably a hard decision to make, Penenberg  wrote "Lies, damn lies and fiction" in 1998. He wrote:

"It's tough proving a negative. It is even tougher proving that something or someone does not exist.

That was the challenge after The New Republic story, "Hack Heaven," which appeared in the May 18 issue, proved to be unverifiable. At first it appeared that Forbes Digital had been scooped by a weekly political publication."

These journalists represented the spectrum of reporting - from fiction to investigation. Hearing about Glass's rise and fall makes my skin crawl and my heart go out to his editors, blindsided by his kindness and promise. I can only hope that in my career as a journalist, I will never encounter someone so immoral.


I have worked in a professional newsroom for the past two years -- in fact, I am writing this entry listening to other editors critiquing writers' work, talking through the day's news and planning the layout for tomorrow's newspaper.

When I wrote (I'm now an editor), I dreaded the e-mails I would get with a subject line reading, "Error in Tuesday's Paper." Minor, innocent errors like mistaking a title would elicit corrections on page two of my beloved paper. I felt like I had failed everyone -- my editors, our readers, myself and my grandmother, who has a shoebox full of every one of my clips.

Though I am proud to say I have only ever had two minor corrections, I can still remember the sinking feeling at the bottom of my stomach as I sincerely apologized to my editor-in-chief.

I don't know how Stephen Glass slept at night.



1.  Foreman, Gene. (2010). The Ethical Journalist: Making responsible decisions in the pursuit of news. West Sussex: John Wiley and Sons Ltd.

2.  Penenberg, Alan L. (May 11, 1998). Lies, damn lies and fiction. Retrieved February 4, 2010. http://www.forbes.com/1998/05/11/otw3.html

3.  Society of Professional Journalists. (1996). Retrieved February 4, 2010. Code of Ethics. http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp

Stephanie Rivera: Blog 3- Challenging Ethics: Stephen Glass

 | | 0 TrackBacks

    The movie "Shattered Glass" is a wake-up call to all aspiring journalists on the moral ethics of journalism.  Stephen Glass was a young reporter from the prestigious magazine, The New Republic.  As we saw in the film "Shattered Glass", the aspiring reporter fabricated numerous articles during his three years at the magazine.  Stephen Glass fabricated quotations, sources, and even entire articles.  While watching the film, two ethical messages that stood out to me were fabrication and falsifying information.  
    The issue at hand was Stephen Glass was fabricating complete stories to maintain interest.  This if of course, creates many ethic concerns.  For aspiring journalists, this can be discouraging if we want to choose journalism as a career path.  It makes me wonder why exactly Glass would want to fabricate stories.  Lori Robertson examines why the newsroom has changed so much recently, in her journal, "Confronting the Culture".  In the journal, she makes very valid points as to has happened and what needs to happen.
    One of the points Robertson makes, is that the newsroom is full of pressures to makes stories.  For Stephen Glass, he must likely felt the pressures to perform.  There is a huge desire to get the huge story as well as impress the readers.  Robertson points out that a new culture must exist for things to change.  New ethics, a strong fact-check system, editors to put stricter rules, as well as training new employees.  She also claims that the pressure is on our generation to change things.  I agree that as aspiring journalists, we must realize that honesty is the most important ethic in journalism.  There is no simple answer to fabrication and plagiarism in journalism.  It ultimately falls in our hands.
    Kelly McBride from Poynter.org explains how journalists must take on new responsibilities.  She says that there are three places where the newsroom has a duty to take on for the reader.  The first one is creating information that is not misguided or false.  The second is believing the information.  This require the editor to verify the information and use resources to spread the word.  The last process is passing it along.   
    I think in conclusion it is sad to think that people like Stephen Glass have put such a dark cloud on the field of journalism.  Ethical issues must be addressed including fabrication, plagiarism, and so on.  I can definitely say that this movie allowed me to realize my duty.  As a new, aspiring journalist it is my ethical duty to make sure our industry is full of honest, trust-worthy journalists.  We must learn from people like Stephen Glass to continue ethical journalism.  


 Robertson, L. ( 2005). "Confronting the Culture". American Journalism Review. Vol. 27: Issue 4: Pgs 1-9.  

2) McBride, K. (2009, Sept 3).  Journalists Must Expose, Not Perpetuate, Bogus News. Poynter Online.  Retrieved February 3, 2010 from http://www.poynter.org/column.asp?id=67&aid=169508 

Daniel Long: Blog 3 - Shattered Glass

 | | 0 TrackBacks

I found the movie "shattered glass" very intriguing. I thought it was interesting that Steve Glass created these elaborate lies for so long before he was discovered. It bothered me that a journalist could be so focused on pleasing his co-workers and audience that he would make up full-fledged lies for his stories in the "The New Republic." In a profession where honesty and accuracy are the two most important things, he just completely threw those two beliefs to the wayside so he could conjure up another front page story. It surprised me the lengths he went to to cover up his lies. He created fake websites, fake events, and even fake people. The second issue that struck me was that he didn't really even man up to his mistakes for a long time. He wanted everyone to feel sorry for him and from what I saw in the 60 minutes interview he is still trying to accomplish that.

I feel Steve Glass's story really showed how intense and cut-throat the world of journalism can be if it required him to make up complete lies for stories just so he could stay ahead of the other writers and make the front page. I feel Richard Mcginnis said it best, "The only unusual thing about Stephen Glass' fall from grace, as far as I can see, is that he was caught. Fabrication, in small or large part, will always be common in a profession that, too often, values sensation over substance, and where older editors increasingly turn to younger writers to provide them with "buzz", or a window on trends, real or spurious. Freelance writers and junior editorial staff, like Glass, are the disposable shock troops of this regrettable but seemingly ineradicable side of the business."

This story makes me question journalists altogether. Steve didn't get caught until he made up a story that was completely false, he had many stories before that that were only partial lies and they slipped under the radar. How many other journalists are out there telling half-truths for stories that go undetected? If anything, Steve Glass showed that it can be done if you put the time in to cover your tracks and if you don't take it too far.

I found the 60 minutes interview we watched on Mr. Glass just as interesting as the movie. I feel he is still lying to everyone and in doing so he is promoting his book and future books and projects he will do. He is a liar and manipulator to the core and I don't think that will ever change. He wants to make money and he will tell people whatever it takes to manipulate them into believing his story is sincere so he can make that money.

It is important to discuss these issues because it shows people that they shouldn't believe everything they here in the news because for all we know it could be some journalist telling a half truth so he can make the front page. It also shows that if you try and lie in your stories you may get caught, and once you get caught it's very hard if not impossible to regain the trust of your audience.   


Work Citied:

"A tissue of lies | the stephen j. glass index." Rick mcginnis | home. Web. 04 Feb. 2010.     <http://www.rickmcginnis.com/articles/Glassindex.htm>.

Jessica Uzar: Blog 3 - Shattered Glass

 | | 0 TrackBacks

The whole ethical issue with Stephen Glass is that he lied to a lot of people. Editors back their writers throughout their careers. They believe their writer over an outsider - at least at the beginning. They defend them against allegations of plagiarism, lying, or distortion. So also do readers have a similar trust bond with the writer. Journalism is a field of news telling, of truth telling, and that is what the readers expect. Glass' deception of the readers affects them in a variety of ways. No longer believing his stories is just the tip of the ice berg. Readers will no longer trust that print source and will no longer buy that magazine. Their mistrust will, at least for some time, probably run deeper into a mistrust of the entire media system.


Glass started off with only making up little details of stories, like quotes or small details. These details made his stories sensational, which is the reason he added them. His peers and superiors came to expect more from him and consistent, just-as-sensational stories. He succumbed to this pressure by continuing to make up stories instead of dealing with it in other ways. He in essence choose the easy way out. A lot of people can make up good stories. Usually they are located in the fiction section of a book store.


The problem with Glass, as talked about in an article from Vanity Fair, is that he was almost malicious in his deception. In order to cover his tracks he made up fake evidence - notes, sources, voicemails, websites - anything to hide the truth. He lied too easily for the average person to be comfortable with. Also, when he was confronted about his lies, he still continued to defend them as truth for quite some time.


A CBS's 60 minutes story echoed all of these facts. They go into detail about how Glass put so much effort into covering his tracks when he could be taking that same effort and putting it towards his next story. Instead of making up voicemails, actually forge relationships with real people to use as your sources. CBS also talks about how Glass wants to be admitted to New York's state bar for law. But who would want to hire him as a lawyer, let alone, who would allow him to pass the bar? He very well, with his background, could have cheated and deceived his way through the process. Even lawyers, who do not always have the best reputations, should be trusted somewhat.


I think what Stephen Glass did is a scary thought. He was completely and totally in the wrong. Sometimes I find myself thinking "if only my source has said this, it would be so much better." It scares me a whole lot when I have thoughts like that. I would never, especially after this movie, this class, and my experience so far, follow through with making that thought reality, but isn't that what Glass must have been thinking when he first started? I would not be able to live with myself if I did the detrimental acts that Glass did (let alone try to make money off a book about it). You know, maybe it's almost good that there are occasional cases like this, so that normal people think twice about what happens after the scenery all falls down.




Leung, Rebecca. (2003, August 17). 60 Minutes. Stephen Glass I Lied for Esteem. Retrieved from http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/05/07/

Bissinger, B. (1998). Shattered Glass. Vanity Fair. Retrieved from http://www.vanityfair.com/magazine/archive/1998/09/bissinger199809?currentPa

Aaron Clark Blog #3 Shattered Glass

 | | 0 TrackBacks

In the case of the film, "Shattered Glass", the true story of journalist Steven Glass, many ethical considerations are brought up.  Glass fabricated stories in their entirety causing a serious breach of journalistic integrity for the advancement or fulfillment of his own personal goals. To any observer of this case, this must surely be the overarching theme.  Not only did he cite false sources, or create phony notes- he created fiction for personal gain under the banner of journalism, bringing disrespect and disgrace to not only himself, but also through repercussions to his magazine, and the journalistic community as a whole.

It is obvious Glass wrote his pieces for his own career, he neither considered his publication or readers as being affected by his falsehood. However, they were effected- causing his eventual downfall when another publication wanted to do its own fact checking.  Glass claimed he was trying to live up to extreme, and possibly impossible, expectations for his career. Regardless, his choice to lie, shows a disregard for his profession and a lack of passion for the truth, which is ultimately the goal of a journalist.

Upon research it appears as Glass reacted to the first stage of Decision making, Gut Reaction, before (or if he ever) consulted the other levels of respect for rules, or personal reflection (1). If Glass would have taken a critical look at his process, he would have quickly seen his motive were incorrect, and his result therefore would be harmful to his career.  This idea of personal advancement can be seen in several cases of journalistic dishonesty as categorized through the class- from Jason Blair, to the Times writer fabricating the 8-year old heroin addict.  It seems that this is an overall theme for ethical rule breaking, and is no different in many other cases.

No journalist should be face with this consideration, regardless of their stress level or expectations.  A journalist breaking basic ethical principle for self advancement shows a lack of concern for not only ones profession, but also ones self.  When facing a challenge such as high expectations, it is better to address them head on, then to take a "lazy" way around them; because no matter how bad the fall out from your under production, there is no way it is worse than getting fired (and blacklisted through the community) for ethical disregard.  One story can make you, and if you lie, one story can break you- however in the case of Steven Glass it was multiple stories built on his incorrect logic.

In conclusion, it seems the overall theme of journalistic ethic disregard comes from a lack of concern from the writer due to the desire to advance him, or her, self through a false publication.  This issue will stick with journalists, until everyone understands the lesson Glass does now- use the three levels of decision making process, because just because it feels right to your human instinct to get ahead, doesn't mean it will work. And through this film, and the life of Steven Glass, this idea should be evident.

Zhong, Bu. Class Lecture. ETHICAL DECISION MAKING PROCESS. 1/22/10

Corey Righter Blog #3 Shattered Glass

 | | 0 TrackBacks
First off I thought the movie was an excellent portrayal of how things happened in the Stephen Glass story. The movie kept my interest and got straight to the point.

Mr. Glass was young, inexperienced, and out of his mind. Sure desperate times call for desperate measures, but there is a line that is to not be crossed. The line in this case was "ethics." I believe journalism is all about originality and creativity. Glass was pressured to come up with story after story as he began to fabricate stories. These fabricated stories were drawing readership and notoriety. This gave Glass the motivation to produce fake news.

The scenes in the movie that were particularly amusing to me was when Glass would start each day by telling a story, a false one, to his coworkers. He would make them laugh and believe every word he was saying. It is almost as if he was the boss running the entire show. No one knew of the corruption and deception that this man was taking part in. He would brew up an idea for a story and then make up the entire thing.

He went to such extremes such as making up voicemails and fake names. Glass lied even when he was caught red handed as Chuck had Glass show him where the "hacker conference" was supposedly held. Chuck was the newly appointed editor in chief after the former one was fired. The former editor near the end of the film asked Glass if he had ever fabricated a story while he was in charge.

After all the investigations were completed, it was clear that Glass lost his mind and his sense of ethics. He simply became addicted after each story got exposure and even attention from other newspapers and magazines. There will still be writers and reporters that will attempt to fix a story to make it appear vivid and unbelievable. I am glad these few that are breaking the code of ethics are being caught. This sets a strict and important standard that should be set in place for Journalists today.

Chelsea Beedle: Blog 3-"Shattered Glass" and The Ethics Of Journalism

 | | 0 TrackBacks
The movie "Shattered Glass" about Steven Glass was very eye opening about the fabrications and questions of ethics that goes on in journalism. His stories were often riveting, hard hitting, and totally made up. How could this go on under the noses of all that he worked for? How could Glass believe he could and should be getting away with all this deception?

It really brings into account the trust that we have in the news we read. It is hard for people to look at the paper in the same way when they find out what they have been taking as truth has in fact been made up. The issue at hand is lying to get ahead and it is never a good idea, the truth should be all that is published, nothing less.

Glass made up the stories he wrote because of time constraints, pressure from work, home, school, there are a million reasons. What he did cannot be excused and it tarnished his reputation for a lifetime.

He was first exposed as a fraud by an online publication. This shows new media shedding light on old media's practices. Papers like the New Republic, New York Times, and the Washington Post are high profile news sources read around the country that could possibly have fabricated stories. It was once thought that internet journalism would be easier to get away with lying but they are in fact, in some cases, the most honest of them all (McNair).

Another point to bring up is that because of Stephen Glass the public learned that they have a say in what they are reading. People can step in and say that something sounds fishy and "self regulate" the press. People are not just a sponge to soak up what the media is selling to them, they have their own minds and know how to use them (Ehrlich).

Stephen Glass should have never made up the stories he did. There is no reason to lie to get ahead. If he didn't have a good story he should have looked harder until he did or took a bullet and told his editor that he had nothing. Now he has become infamous, mostly what he wanted but people do not think of the name Glass and get a good feeling. His reputation was certainly put on the line and he will never be looked at the same.

I've learned that you can never get ahead by cheating. I mean at first you may but things always come around to bite you in the butt. Also no matter how far you get you will always have the fact that you lied on your conscience and that can never feel good.

McNair, B. (2009). Trust Me, I'm a Journalist: Shattered Glass and the Crisis of Trust in Liberal
       Journalism. Conference Papers -- International Communication Association, 1. Retrieved
       from Communication & Mass Media Complete database.

Ehrlich, M. (2005). Shattered Glass, Movies, and the Free Press Myth. Journal of
       Communication Inquiry
, 29(2), 103-118. doi:10.1177/0196859904272741.

Michael Tyler Blog 3: Shattered Glass

 | | 0 TrackBacks

The movie "Shattered Glass" was the story of Steven Glass and how he made up many of his news stories. He would make up people, places and events to make his stories more entertaining to the public. He wanted so badly to make everyone love him but when started to write his stories he went too far because he began to play with everyone's emotions. His coworkers didn't know what to think or believe. They didn't want to believe that he made up his stories but when the evidence came out it was shocking to everyone how many of them he made up.

            I think Steve Glass did that because he wanted to make great stories that everyone would love and he wanted to feel important. He that what he wrote and said would make people happy and read his articles. I think in order to fix these problems the newspapers or magazines need to have better back checking because it seems to easy to get past and make false stories for a long before the person gets caught and by then it is too late and it is really hard to fix the company's reputation. The reason is that no one can believe what they are talking about in the paper and they may lose many customers.

In conclusion I learned that when you're a journalist you must be completely honest and not make up stories because people might them more then the truth. I learned this is wrong because it not worth being caught doing it because not only do u hurt yourself but you hurt your company and everyone you work with and know. I think this is still important to hear about because people need to know about how bad this is and why not to do and if you are thinking about getting the perfect story don't try to make one up. It is a great deterrent from falsifying your stories. Everyone should know that it is wrong for anyone to do this at and job or profession. It can destroy your reputation and how everyone else thinks of you.

Valerie Tkach Blog #3- Shattered Glass

 | | 0 TrackBacks
As a reporter for The Daily Collegian its hard for me to understand how some news publications can let things slip through the cracks. When you write a story the amount of fact-checking that goes into making sure all your sources are correct is tiring and annoying but everyone does them because we want the editors to know that all our facts are correct. Stephen Glass was not the first and surely not be the last to deceive his editors and his readers. What baffles me is how come it took them so long to finally catch him.
Stephen Glass was the master manipulator. He fabricated stories, made up sources, and continued to lie to a point where now even people that he was once close to will not trust a word he says. What annoys me the most is what was it that pushed Glass to the edge and made him jump without looking back? What makes a person risk his career and reputation for something that he had to have known would have been discovered?
I honestly believe that when you get to that point as a reporter that you feel you should make up facts to make a story interesting you should just quit your job as a reporter and become a fiction writer. Reporters are supposed to report the TRUTH and if the public wanted to read some fabricated action story they would pick up a James Patterson book.
Nothing is worth it for being unprofessional and unethical and Stephen Glass learned his lesson the hard way. He is never going to be trusted by the public and no reputable news magazine would ever hire him. I bet he wishes he could just turn back the time.

David Doggett: Blog 2 - "Shattered Glass"

 | | 0 TrackBacks

Stephen Glass had the potential to become a great journalist.  He was smart, talented, and determined to make it to the top, but his ambitiousness would be his downfall.  He was so set on pleasing his colleagues, readers, and editors that he lost track of his ethical values.  He wanted to make every story a homerun, but that's just not how the industry works.    

Glass was an overworked, underpaid and extremely stressed out individual.  He was not only working as a journalist at the New Republic, but also pursuing a law degree at the Georgetown University.  His situation overwhelmed him, but he didn't want to slow down, so something had to give. 

In the end Glass chose to give up his ethics and make up stories. "My life was one very long process of lying and lying again, to figure out how to cover those other lies," Glass told 60 Minutes in a 2003 interview (cbsnews.com).  The pressure to both succeed as a journalist and make it through law school proved to be too much to handle. 

Stephen Glass was at the breaking point of insanity, which was induced by his unrealistic goals, and led him to believe that his only way out was to completely fabricate his stories. Journalist and friend of Glass, Hannah Rosin, tried to explain, "Steve could so easily fabricate people because at some level he doesn't see them as real, only as superficial extensions of himself" (slate.com).  Slowing down or asking for help was not an option for Glass, so he did the only thing he felt he could...cheat.

I have never had to deal with an issue of this magnitude before, but when I have had to face an ethical challenge I've usually weighed out my options.  Sometimes I have felt like I'm trapped in a situation and there's no way out, but in the end I just tell myself that if I do the right thing everything will wind up better in the end even if it doesn't sound like the most appealing idea at the time.  Stephen believed that his only option was to lie and keep lying, but he ended up digging himself into a hole that he couldn't climb out of; eventually it cost him his career.

I have learned from this story and others like it that it's just not worth it to lie.  Sure it makes you look great at the time, but eventually it will catch up with you and when it does you'll never be able to recover from it.  Lying ruins your personal credibility and the credibility of your entire organization.    

The story of Stephen Glass is still very important because it illustrates the consequences that can occur from cutting corners.  It sends a message to young journalists everywhere that they have to work hard and get the facts straight if they want to make it to the top.  There are no shortcuts in the real world.


Works Cited:

1.      Leung, R. (2003, August 17). Stephen Glass: I Lied For Esteem. Retrieved February 4, 2010, from http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/05/07/60minutes/main552819.shtml  

2.      Rosin, H. (2003, May 21). Glass Houses. Retrieved February 4, 2010, from http://www.slate.com/id/2083348/

Justin Zickar: Blog 3- "Shattered Glass"

 | | 0 TrackBacks

Stephen Glass is a man who started a wildfire. He told one little lie, and that lie grew, and grew, and grew. Now Glass has nothing. He fabricated stories and committed career-suicide in his own profession. Some could argue that Glass's expectations as an up and coming journalist held him back from fulfilling his full potential. He had been held as one of the better journalists by readers and colleagues. A rush of self-appreciation and worthwhile was ushered in as Glass was held to such a high and adoring standard. But on the other hand, we forget that Glass knew what he was doing before he committed his travesty to the journalism world. Meaning, there was no excuse.

I think Glass was extremely out of line when doing what he did. Under no circumstances was it okay in anyway to lie and fabricate stories. Whether or not he needed to do this remains irrelevant. Nobody was forcing him to. It was merely his decision to write lie after lie and show ethical and moral distrust.

In similar cases, for example, a USA Today reporter by the name of Jack Kelley was sought for similar allegations in the early 2000s. Kelley had fabricated over 100 stories and various sources. Kelley's example is quite more extreme than Glass's in my mind. Kelley was older and wiser and should have known better. But, like Glass, Kelley started doing something that he couldn't stop, and it ultimately led to his demise.

I have been in the situation of pressure and time constraint before. I believe many journalists are over the course of their careers. But this does not change the fact that you have a duty to the public, report the news and report it objectively. By falsely creating sensational stories, you are single-handedly ruining the profession you stand for and so called, "love" dearly.

I think the main point from this that I can take away from is always be cautious and do your job correctly. Although a lot of blame falls solely on Glass, a lot can be rendered to the people whom allowed him to accomplish such a feat. Nobody had questioned his early on work. If editors would have checked sources and not been so amazed by the young talent's work, they would've been able to control the issue themselves.

Either way, the conflict is always damaging. But even with the lessons learned, there is no way to prevent this, in my opinion. You can teach and promote ethics as much as humanly possible, but it rests on what people will choose to do. In the same given situation, you can only hope that 100% of journalists would go about the same path. Unfortunately, there will always be those that look to put themselves ahead, don't imagine the consequences and just want to get the work done by taking the easy way out. Let it be known that this is the highest and most wrongful dilemma for a journalist. I myself compare this to Major League Baseball player's taking steroids in the late 1990s. I've lost trust and faith in something I loved. It works the same way with journalism.


Morrison, B. (2004, March 19). Ex-USA TODAY reporter faked major stories. Retrieved February 3, 2010, from http://www.usatoday.com/news/2004-03-18-2004-03-18_kelleymain_x.htm


Rosen, J. (2004, April). Who Knows Jack?. Retrieved February 3, 2010, from http://www.ajr.org/Article.asp?id=3613


Susan Micsky-Blog 3: "Shattered Glass"

 | | 0 TrackBacks

Journalists have many ethical responsibilities.  Among these are truthfulness and accuracy.  Consumers of news media put a lot of trust in believing the news they hear is actually true and not some sort of fabricated tale.  This is a trust that the industry has worked very hard to receive and maintain.  Unfortunately, every once in awhile a journalist will break this bond of trust and do the unthinkable.  They will plagiarize and or fabricate their stories, such as Stephen Glass did while working for The New Republic.  There could be numerous reasons why felt the need to do this, but none of them can be justified.  When a misfortune such as this happens it is important that the proper disciplinary actions are taken to convey that this behavior will not be tolerated in a professional journalistic atmosphere. 

Glass was fired from The New Republic once the paper discovered he had been fabricating his stories.  According to Edward Cohn and Sylvia Weedman, in their article The glass trail, "27 of Glass's 41 articles for the magazine were at least partially products of his vivid imagination" (Cohn and Weedman, 1998).  I can only imagine the kind of pressure that comes from working at a big magazine like The New Republic.  Glass confided in an interview with Seth Mnookin, "I thought I truly, truly was not a good-enough journalist or a good-enough person, and the irony is that by trying to convince other people-and therefore myself-that I was better, I destroyed everything around me"  (Mnookin, 2003).  Based on this comment, and just a general idea of the humane soul, I don't believe that he meant to hurt anyone with his actions.  He seems to have just been a troubled young journalist who unwisely tried to solve his insecurities.  If Stephen was having problems with his work he should have talked things over with his editor.  They possibly may have came to the conclusion that he was not best suited to work at The New Republic, but at least he would have not got caught up in such a big lie and ruined his reputation.

I think the most important lesson that can be taken from Stephen's story is that honesty is always the best policy.  This seems like common knowledge, but in today's hectic world it is often the most basic virtues that we overlook.  It is important to analyze your lifestyle frequently to assure that you are not behaving in an unethical and destructive manner. 



Edward Cohn, and Sylvia Weedman.  "The glass trail. "  The American Prospect  1 Sep. Social Science

                Module, ProQuest. Web.  4 Feb. 2010.

Seth Mnookin.  "Total fiction." Newsweek 19 May 2003: Research Library Core, ProQuest.Web. 4 Feb.


Sten McGuire: Blog 3-Shattered Glass

 | | 0 TrackBacks

Pressure's from Society

Reflecting on the movie "Shattered Glass," I have found Stephen Glass' age to be a very interesting facet of this movie. Keeping ethics in mind, I feel as though Stephen Glass was more inclined to falsify his sources due to his age. Ethics in journalism come in many forms; however this move portrayed the issues with credibility in ethics. I firmly believe that people of a younger age are more inclined to cheat or lie because they have not had the time to build up their credibility therefore feeling as though there is nothing to lose. Another issue when reflecting on "Shattered Glass" is the culture of production that is brewing in our society. Quality has somewhat taken a down fall compared to the quantity of product that is produced. This is why one can think that it was not Stephen's age but society acting as a driving force for production.

Stephen Glass was an extraordinary writer who aspired to be the best journalist in his field. People had high expectations of Stephen and he felt as though he had to live up to them. When he found himself stuck at a wall he decided to cheat the system and ultimately lose his job. Lori Robertson wrote, "In the not-too-distant past, journalism sages, columnists and otherwise rational old people were quick to condemn the ethically lax, morally inept, not-able-to-handle-the-pressure-of-the-big-time "kids these days" as the root of the plagiarism and fabrication problem." Keeping this in mind we must understand that society's demands play a huge role in the amount of pressure at work. Our culture demands production with therefore Stephen decided to give them what they wanted, however the only way to do so was to cheat. She later says, "Then there's the increasing pressure to produce, produce, produce--in a 24-hour, multimedia news world of rampant downsizing."  

If ever faced with Stephen Glass' dilemma I would have to turn down any sort of offer to cheat. I don't know whether it is because I am too lazy to think all of the fabrications up as he did, or that I would be too afraid to get caught. The working force needs to understand society's demands and react the best that they can. I have worked in manufacturing for Estee Lauder and although quality is held to a high standard, there was always a number distinguishing the amount I needed to produce with the amount of time I had to do it in. I understood that pressure and would not sacrifice my quality for that number but would rather figure out logically ways of achieving both the quantity and the quality. Simply, if Stephen Glass took the time to investigate without taking short cuts, I believe that he would have ultimately lived up to societies standards. And had he been a great journalist, he would have not only been able to right great stories but run great investigations.

Robertson, Lori. "Confronting the Culture." AJR. 4 Feb. 2010. Web. Aug. & sept. 2005. <http://www.ajr.org/Article.asp?id=3933>.


Adam Keller Blog 3: Lies, Lies, and More Lies

 | | 0 TrackBacks

Lies, lies, and more lies. If I had to give a person a sentence to describe the personality and career of former journalist Stephen Glass, that would be it. When I first watched the movie Shattered Glass, I was struck by how blatantly Stephen Glass was lying to everyone around him.


   While working for The New Republic, it was discovered by his editors that Glass fabricated at least part of, or all, of 27 of the 41 articles that he wrote. (Levant) This was astounding to me, and the more I thought about it the more I questioned; why would someone, in this position, do something like this, and how did he get away with it?


   Upon thinking of some of the reasons why someone would lie so much, especially when the danger of getting caught should be high, I am reminded of what the German philosopher Immanuel Kant said about lying.


   Kant believed that people, "should treat each human being as en end in itself, and never as a mere means." (BBC Ethics) Therefore, Kant believed that lying is always wrong because if one would lie to someone, they would not be treating them, "as an end in themselves, but merely as a means for the liar to get what [he or she] want[s]. Kant also wanted people to, "Act so that the maxim of thy will can always at the same time hold good as a principle of universal legislation." (BBC Ethics) This basically means that for something to be declared ethical and/or good, it could stand the test of becoming a universal law.


    I largely agree with Kant's philosophies, especially when it comes to lying. I believe that a good way to achieve treating others as an end, and not a mean in my life is to treat others as you would have them treat you. Glass obviously did not do this. I believe that Glass used people as a means (his peers, his editors, and his audience) by lying to them to get what he wanted: a prestigious reputation among his peers, and fame.


   I believe it is important to talk about what Glass did for a couple reasons. One is so it can remind journalists in the future of what not to do. Another is to serve as a good topic of discussion so that these ethical issues are constantly brought to light. If people in the field of journalism constantly bring light to these issues, more will be inclined to do what is right, rather than what is selfish.

Works Cited

"BBC - Ethics - Lying." BBC - Homepage. Web. 04 Feb. 2010. <http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/lying/lying_1.shtml#h3>.

Levant, Glen. "Commentary - Drug Prevention." NFIA - National Families in Action. Web. 05 Feb. 2010. <http://www.nationalfamilies.org/prevention/glass_letter.html>

Tyler Sizemore - Blog 3: Shattered Glass, Shattered Dreams

 | | 0 TrackBacks

Stephen Glass was living his dream.  He was a young and talented writer for a highly-respected and well-known editorial magazine, The New Republic.  He was always thought of as a hard worker who often stayed after hours and did anything and everything to find that front-page story.  Glass was a real up-and-coming journalist with a limitless potential.  It all seemed too good to be true.  Turns out, it was.

Glass had been fabricating and making up stories since the start of his tenure at The New Republic.  "Stephen Glass is the journalistic equivalent of one of those guys who spray oil on your driveway and then say they've sealed your blacktop.  He is a con man, a liar and a thief - at least in the sense of getting paid for doing something he didn't do.  Not to put too fine a point on it, you might say he is also a sleazeball, a scum bucket and a Grade-A jerk." (Neman 2003)  The story of Glass' rise to the top and eventual downfall is captured in the 2003 film Shattered Glass.

Making up a story is the ultimate sin of journalism. So the question is asked - why did he do it?  This answer is not a simple one as there may have been many contributing factors.

One such reason is the pressure being put on him in the workplace.  Glass was a busy man who worked a full-time job at The New Republic while also attending Georgetown's School of Law on the side.  He was also frequently in contact with several other magazines which desired his work.  When being pressed for time, Glass would often fabricate and sometimes completely make up a story with fake sources and fake places.  During his time at The New Republic, Glass admitted to fabricating 27 stories.  The New Republic failed to thoroughly fact-check Glass' stories which made his actions very easy to get away with.

Another reason for Glass' actions was the personal satisfaction that a great story gave him.  He loved impressing his co-workers at their roundtable meetings discussing unbelievably crazy stories with colorful characters, which led his companions to ask "How does he do it?"  It was assumed at The New Republic that Stephen Glass just had a nose for sniffing out great news stories.  After all, his co-workers had no reason to distrust him.  "'What I was thinking was, if I write this, people will like me, and then I might like myself,' Glass says by way of explaining the fictions he presented as fact. 'It's a ridiculous thing to have thought.'" (Fisher 2003)

As journalists, we all need to learn from the mistakes of Stephen Glass.  No matter what the pressure or incentive may be, there is no reason and no excuse for fabrication.  When picking up a paper or reading a blurb on the internet, the reader should not have to question the validity of the story.  It is up to us to ensure that the news is fact rather than fiction.

Neman, Daniel. "REMEMBER STEPHEN GLASS? - 'SHATTERED' TELLS STORY OF YOUNG JOURNALIST WHO PREFERRED WRITING FICTION." Richmond Times-Dispatch 21 Nov. 2003, Cit, Flair: D-1. NewsBank. Web. 4 Feb. 2010.


Mike Mill: Blog 3 - Shattered Glass

 | | 0 TrackBacks

"My life was one very long process of lying and lying again, to figure out how to cover those other lies." - Stephen Glass

Stephen Glass was 'the man'. Everybody loved him. He was intelligent, bright, and had everything going his way. People read his stories and immediately fell for the young witty writer. They loved the man behind the fascinating stories. But what they really loved was fake, nothing but an imagination run wild.

Prior to watching the movie in class I already knew Stephen Glass' story. In my journalism class during my junior year in high school we watched the film "Shattered Glass". Even as a young, inexperienced journalist it was still shocking to see the story of Stephen Glass. Throughout his career the journalist fabricated dozens of stories. Story after story was filled with lies, some stories were even entirely made up. Once confronted about a single problem, he would create more lies to cover up ones he already told.

It's actually pretty pathetic when you look at the trouble he went to in order to create these stories. The effort he put into faking notes and creating fake businesses and websites could have been put forth to turn truthful news into great articles instead. However, Glass chose the path of lies.

As a broadcasting journalism major I just wonder why and shake my head at all the incidents. There are so many other career paths that these unethical journalists could take. Create novels, write short stories, but don't tarnish the title of journalism with your fabrications. I feel zero sympathy for those who fabricate stories and lose their careers after getting caught. I feel most journalists would agree with me. We work hard to create stories and present truthful news to people, and a few bad seeds ruin the reputation of us all.

Alicia Murzinski-Blog 3: A Shattered Reputation

 | | 0 TrackBacks

Stephen Glass had everything going for him.  He was a young, bright and intelligent reporter. That could have also been considered his downfall.  He was held to such high expectations that he felt he had no choice but to continue to live up to that standard.   In order to do that he felt he needed to lie and fabricate his stories.   This immoral practice showed a lack of respect and trust towards his readers, colleagues and editors. 


Glass had been fabricating stories for years. Even if he had only fabricated just one story, it would still be bad in the journalism world.  But to continually write fraudulent stories for year's raises serious ethical issues.  He wanted the praise and attention from his co-workers and readers so he continually made up stories.  It was as if he was addicted to praise and he did not want to disappoint so he continued to make up more and more stories. 


There are many reasons why journalists do this, but the fact is it is ethically wrong.  In a 60 minutes interview Glass said, "My life was one very long process of lying and lying again, to figure out how to cover those lies." It is just like Glass says, lying leads to more lying.  Journalist should know enough that it is wrong to lie.  But the truth is that they do not.  Lying loses journalist their credibility in the field and they may never be able to work for a news industry again.


If was him I would have been willing to sacrifice my reputation as a journalist who found great stories to maintain my credibility and I would post a story that may not get the praise I want.  It is true that once someone starts lying they cannot stop and in Glass's case, this was certainly true.  A journalist may tell himself or herself that just this once they will make something up to get a story finished by deadline and the next thing they know they are making up entire stories.


            This kind of issue also raises the question as to how editors could be so negligent when it comes to checking facts in stories.  Luckily, in the case of Stephen Glass, the new editor Charles Lane pursued the allegations of Glass fabricating "Hack Heaven".  But in so many cases editors have overlooked checking facts just to get a good story published and because they trusted their writers.  This leads to the sacrifice of the editor's reputation and the reputation of the paper they are writing for if it were to be discovered that a story was false. 


It is like Adam L. Penenberg says in his article, "It's tough proving a negative. It is even tougher proving that something or someone does not exist." It is hard for editors to be able to distinguish truth from lies in stories, especially in today's society.  There may be editors out there who check every single fact but somehow the lies manage to get through.  With the competition so cut throat in today's world for who has the best paper, sometimes it is hard for editors to check everything.  Papers across the country are losing their readers due to more easy access sources such as TV and online so editors have to find the best stories possible to keep their readers, so they let lies slip through the crack.


If I was an editor and I heard about all of these scandals of journalist fabricating their stories, I would re-evaluate my ethics codes and be sure to fact check everything that comes across my desk.  I would not want my reputation to be sacrificed for being carless and not checking a story to ensure that it was completely true.  In the case of Lane, it was good that he pursued the allegations that people had about Glass's outrageous stories. 


            This situation is still talked about today in the journalism world.  Even though cases like Glass's and others have been widely publicized, you still see journalist committing these same acts of disrespect and distrust.  It raises the question as to why all papers have not re-evaluated their ethic codes and paid more attention to stories they are publishing.  If all papers had done this when these cases first appeared then readers would have more trust and faith in their papers and papers would not be losing their credibility.

Glass's mistakes are enough to make any journalist seriously consider the consequences of lying to get a good story.  Personally, this issue will always be in the back of my head when I am on a deadline or having trouble finding a good story.  I know that I have enough respect for myself and my fellow writers and readers not to fabricate a story.  I want to uphold my respect and trust in the world of journalism by putting out a truthful story even though it might get the praise I would want it to get.  I would rather my story be truthful then a huge lie.



Peneberg, A. (1998, May 5). Lies, damn lies and fiction,

Retrieved from   http://www.forbes.com/1998/05/11/otw3.html


Leung, R. (2003, August 17). 60 Minutes. Stephen Glass I Lied for Esteem.

Retrieved from http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/05/07/60minutes/main552819.shtml

Shattered Glass- Blog 3

 | | 0 TrackBacks
Lying is the deepest pit you can ever fall into. As we saw in Shattered Glass, Stephen could not stop. He had to keep lying to cover up every other lie he made. When a person lies, then gets caught they have two options, come clean or lie about the lie.

People often want to save their own, so they lie about the previous lie to make them look good. Its in human nature to please everyone so the lies can keep coming. In Shattered Glass, Stephen made up many stories and used sources that were not true. However these lies turn into an addiction. He wrote stories and people liked them, he liked the attention so he kept doing it. He wrote lie after lie because he liked the positive attention, and if he wasn't getting caught he thought 'why not?'

However journalists are the people that we should never have to double think trusting. We trust the facts they tell us, the quotes we read, and the sources they use. Obviously lying is the easy way out and frankly it is pretty easy to do. But get caught and you could lose everything you worked up for-trust.

Erin Donahue- Blog 3 "Shattered Glass"

 | | 0 TrackBacks

Watching "Shattered Glass" in class had me at my seat, very uneasy. Here we are watching a film about a future profile of ourselves, a film about a journalist. We all have dreams to one day work at a major newspaper like The New Republic, or have articles published in Rolling Stone or the Washington Post, but dreams are visions we want to create not make up. Which boggles my mind, did Stephen Glass really think he could get away with this? 

"Shattered Glass" was not inspiring or motivating movie. It describes the down fall of Stephen Glass and his career at the The New Republic. There he fabricated numerous amount of articles, one he even won a Pulitzer Prize for. It's based on lies lived by a liar. When I say lies, I mean a long filled life of creating stories upon stories, and then stories to back those up. "My life was one very long process of lying and lying again, to figure out how to cover those other lies," said Glass.

The movie describes Glass as a caring, concerned, young man. Someone who was very hardworking but also very timid. Which made it hard to believe he would dare fabricate a story, or even be angry with him. "The environment inside the magazines was such, and I think this is normal, that people trusted one another and didn't imagine that somebody would be doing all of this and finally I think there was a certain, you know, the more he did, the easier it became to get away with it," said Charles Lane, editor of The New Republic at the time.

How was Stephen able to wake up every morning knowing what came out of his mouth next would be add to his down fall. Especially in college, were pounded with Plagiarism and cheating. Did Glass honestly think this was the best way to get ahead?

In the end, Glass didn't get away with all his hard work of fabrication. And yet, people are still following in his footsteps. Jayson Blair was caught fabricating stories for the New York Times and Jack Kelley was making up stories at USA Today. It's obvious the pressures to get the right story that's both informative and exciting is competitive.

These days there is more stress put on newspaper companies, including their writers and editors for their readers. I think it's safe to say classes on ethics in college are not taught for our own good health. They're are very much so taught for a reason.


Ahmad, Reged. (2008, May17). Crankyoptimist. A Decade on Stephen Glass. Retrieved from http://crankyoptimist.wordpress.com/2008/05/17/

Leung, Rebecca. (2003, August 17). 60 Minutes. Stephen Glass I Lied for Esteem. Retrieved from http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/05/07/

Marshon Lane Blog 3 - Shattered Glass

 | | 0 TrackBacks
      Plagiarism is a situation that brings me an intense ethical message. This is due to the punishments that can come with plagiarism. The thought of being sued, taken to court and losing, then having to pay a fine is a process that I do not want to go through. The thought of being kicked out of school because of two uncited sentences is a scary thing.

    I think Stephen Glass did what he thought was right. I'm sure he knew the dangers of making up stories but the actual feeling of having your stories printed in a magazine, was well worth the risk for him.

    "Like a stock graph, there's going to be exceptions in this. But the general trend of the stories is that they started out with a few made up details and quotes. And granted a few too many, of course. But a few. And then they progressed into stories that were completely fabricated. Just completely made up out of whole cloth," Glass said.

    Glass also made up stories for a feeling of actually doing something. He knew that the stories he wrote were far fetched but he also know how to create a story so real, that it would not be questioned.He lied to everyone and played both sides knowing that everyone would back him against the editor. He may have liked the fact that he was pulling the wool over everyone's eyes. "And at the meetings, we used to wait for Steve's turn, so that he could report on his next caper. We got really suckered," said Leon Wieseltier editor of The New Republic.

     When facing similar challenges like Glass, I ask myself is the risk worth the reward. I usually come to a no. I don think the risk of having your career called in to question and being back balled is worth the reward of having one of your stories published. I write boring stories sometimes but I would rather turn in a boring story then being questioned over a fantastic story that seems to real to be true.

      I have learned that sometimes it is better to take the lower grade then to put your academic career at risk. It's okay to use sources and other works, but always quote and cite them, give them the credit they deserve. I wouldn't like it if somebody passed my work off as their own and scored a higher grade than me or their "work" was published.

     I think this issue is still important to discuss because of the magnitude of it. College students write papers everyday and their are times, where we are tempted to make up things or even plagiarize, but with the right assistance and teaching on a matter like this ethical decisions can be made.

Leung, Rebecca. (2003, August 17). 60 Minutes. Stephen Glass I Lied for Esteem. Retrieved from http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/05/07/

Saltzman, J. (1998). There is No place for lying in any newsroom. USA Today, 127(2640), Retrieved from

Tom Hannifan: Blog 3 - A Misguided Moral Compass

 | | 0 TrackBacks

After watching the movie "Shattered Glass", it is easy to have a gut reaction to the array of poor ethical decisions that Stephen Glass makes. The complete fabrication of a number of stories shows the actions of a desperate and immoral man. His total lack of responsibility, sense of honesty, and truth were astounding as Glass told lie after lie.

According to interviews with Glass, even he is still unsure as to why he cooked so many stories at "The New Republic". Personally, I believe that the pressures of the job and Glass' inside knowledge of fact checking led him to believe he could get away with it. On top of that, the high he got from telling these wild stories to his colleagues was unreal and evidently something he didn't want to let go of.

Whether you refer to Glass' shortcomings as fabrication or plagiarism (since the line in this situation is so blurred), the defamed writer is guilty of journalism's greatest crime. Roy Peter Clark, a senior scholar for the Poynter Institute, seems to understand why someone would resort to such actions. "Some who commit the unoriginal sin are charlatans. Other resort to it in moments of pressure or personal crisis. Other slide into it out of naivete or ignorance" (Clark, 2006).

I believe Clark's comments give good reason as to the emotional reasons why someone would fabricate and plagiarize, but Mr. Glass' ethical compass is way off. Our discussion about Aristotle's Golden Mean led me to one conclusion. When consulting the Cardinal Virtues, the line between "stultifying caution" and "unreflective spontaneity" is the line Glass crossed with his stories (Zhong, 2010). By the time he was caught, he was so consumed by this habitual behavior that it became second nature to him. 

I can truly understand the challenges Stephen Glass faced at "The New Republic". Granted, I have never worked at a major magazine or newspaper but I know very well what it is like to work under deadlines with editors right on top of you. While the concern of losing my job would be tremendous, my obvious lack of ability in such a field would lead me to believe that maybe it wasn't the right profession for me. It seemed obvious to me in the film that Glass would have made an excellent fiction writer instead of a journalist. Despite our fears of failure, sometimes it is necessary to step back and assess what path our talents might lead us down.

"Shattered Glass" has simply taught me the lesson of never to plagiarize. It is a rule journalists tend to take for granted and I hope I have it engrained into my head at this point. I hope that when I get into the field that I have the presence of mind to maintain my values before sacrificing my reputations and my organization's.

If we do not continue to talk about these issues, future journalists will never understand the ramifications. Like all things, we must always learn from history if we are to succeed in the future.


1. Clark, R. P. (2007, November 26). Poynter Online - The Unoriginal Sin . Poynter Online. Retrieved February 4, 2010, from http://www.poynter.org/content/content_view.asp?id=133454

2. Zhong, B. (Director) (2010, January 26). Five Ethical Principles: Basics of Ethical Decision Making. COMM 409. Lecture conducted from Penn State University, University Park.

"Shattered Glass" reflection

 | | 0 TrackBacks

The movie "Shattered Glass" reflected the life of former The New Republic journal, Stephen Glass.  Today Glass would most likely a) still be working at "The New Republic" or b) a top journalist at some other magazine or newspaper.  Instead, Glass is most known as the reporter who lied and made his way to the top by partially fabricating or entirely making up 27 out of 41 published stories.  It was only until he was investigated by his editor when his lies unraveled and he had no choice but to admit his wrongdoings.  The Stephen Glass case examines the ethical issues of fabrication and then deception with his editor and co-workers.

Perhaps we should take a look at exactly why Glass chose the path he took when he first decided to make up a quote to a story.  There are a number of reasons why he may have begun to fabricate, for example in class we mentioned factors such as desperation, pressures, stupidity, the list goes on...According to a New York Times article, an interview with Glass revealed that he felt "a strong pull" of a need to feel loved.  It was mentioned in the movie that Glass had struggles with his parents to go to law school.  Glass was at the top of his game; maybe he felt the need to maintain his status with the magazine even if that meant he had to lie. 

Unfortunately, this isn't a single case of journalists fabricating stories.  There was one such case to the point where the story was so "extraordinary" that it received a Pulitzer Prize.  I'm talking of course about Janet Cooke.  Cooke made her short-lived claim to fame by writing a gripping story of a young boy's addiction to heroin titled, "Jimmy's World."  After police investigated the story to find the young boy and found out that he was a fictional character, Cooke's career was over. 

According to Jeremy Iggers, author of Good News, Bad News: Journalism Ethics and the Public Interest, the former journalists, Janet Cooke and Stephen Glass, violated the fundamental rules of journalism.  Some of these rules are conflict of interest, accuracy, objectivity, fairness, and sensationalism...which one(s) do you think Glass and Cooke didn't follow?  Is it possible that conflict of interests and sensationalism played a part in their downfall?  I think both journalists felt the pressure to succeed and therefore relied on sensationalism to incorporate into their stories.  This act directly leads to conflict of interests.  Instead of focusing on the content of the actual material and facts, they were too enveloped in the idea of entertaining and pleasing people instead of follow the guidelines and principles of ethics in journalism.

If I was in his or her positions, I would have forced myself to stop and remember the code of ethics.  As a reporter, it's so important to know the borderline that separates fabrication from the truth and plagiarism from one's own words.  If I was in Glass' position, I would have deleted the quote immediately.  I would have gone back to the beginning and tried to create better questions for better quotes.  As for Cooke, I probably wouldn't have invested my time as a journalist, I probably would have tried to become a fictional writer where there is more flexibility using one's imagination and creativity writing.

Stephen Glass' actions were irresponsible and reckless, but his mistakes paved the way for future journalists to go in the right direction of telling the news to the public.  I think the lesson he left for us all to acknowledge is the duty of a journalist.  No matter what circumstance or situation, it's always the reporter's job to tell the correct facts to his or audience.  As journalists, that's the number one rule we should follow whenever we go out and pursue a story.  If we fail to focus on that rule, the public will continue to see us as non-credible, lazy, and negligent journalists.

I think it's important for us to keep talking about these issues because the moment we begin to NOT speak about it, our actions and morals fade as well.  Hopefully one day we won't have to keep talking about the consequences of fabricating and taking quotes to pass as your own or cover up our messes before it's too late.  It makes me wonder, what would happen if we actually applied our principles of honesty and credibility into our duties as a reporter? 

                Iggers, Jeremy. (1995) Journalism Ethics:  Right name.  Wrong Game?  Retrieved from http://www.news-council.org/archives/95igg.html.

Kirkpatrick, David D. (2003, May 7). A History of Lying Recounted As Fiction. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2003/05/07/books/a-history-of-lying-recounted-as-fiction.html?pagewanted=1

Dan LePera: Blog 3 - "Shattered Glass" and Trust

 | | 0 TrackBacks

One definition of trust is somebody who or something that people place confidence or faith in. Stephen Glass would fit perfectly in this category. A writer at the New Republic, Glass was given power and had all the readers in the palm of his hand. The problem is he gained all this power through unethical decisions and these decisions eventually caught up to him. The ethical issue in this story is lying.


What Glass did was almost like the start of an addiction. Glass started out with a few lies here and there, and saw that everyone loved his stories. This feeling made Glass happy and consequently he continued to do it. The addiction eventually became too much and Glass was in over his head.


The problem is that there is a certain trust people have for reporters. Whether that trust is from co-workers, editors, or readers, there is a certain expectancy when it comes to news stories. As it is said, one bad journalist can damage the reputation of all journalists, and each time a journalist becomes the news by faking the news, all journalists' integrity is questioned (Saltzman, 1998).


Stephen Glass dug himself a huge hole that eventually caught up to him, so it is hard to say what I would do in his situation. If I had to say, I would have revealed the truth a little earlier, but once that ship had sailed I would do what Stephen did. Similar to what I said in my last blog, if you do something unethical, you need to own up to your mistakes and take full responsibility.


            This story left me wondering how am I ever going to be able to trust a journalist again. A study found that aspiring journalists care more about getting that A and don't care if that jeopardizes telling the truth (Conway, & Groshek, 2009). This will continue to be a prominent issue for the simple fact that not everyone in this world can be trusted and not everyone is ethical. As the study shows, future journalists lie. Where does this cycle stop?




Conway, M., & Groshek, J. (2009). Forgive me now, fire me later: mass communication students' ethics gap concerning school and journalism. 58(4), Retrieved from http://proquest.umi.com.ezaccess.libraries.psu.edu/pqdweb?index=1&did=18


Saltzman, J. (1998). There is No place for lying in any newsroom. USA Today, 127(2640), Retrieved from http://proquest.umi.com.ezaccess.libraries.psu.edu/pqdweb?index=0&did=33550336&SrchMode=2&sid=1&Fmt=3&VInst=PROD&VType

Mina Lee- Blog 3: "Shattered Glass"

 | | 0 TrackBacks

Part One:


Stephen Glass's main goal during his time at the New Republic was to entertain and not inform. This is the problem that caused the reputation of a reputable newspaper and of the people working there to disintegrate. All of the lies that Glass created compromised his own integrity.  


Part Two:


It's amazing to me how one person could deceive thousands of people with such ease. And what's even more amazing is the fact that someone would knowingly and continuously write fully fabricated stories when knowing that it would be in the public eye.

Apparently, Stephen Glass was a lover of story-telling since he was young. In high school he was in a group that produced its own work and one production even involved a Washington journalist caught up in a web of conspiracy and corruption (Bissinger, 2007). He was known for being able to fabricate elaborate stories on the spot. This is definitely a talent that Glass used in his advantage to create a false image of a great and talented journalist.

After watching the movie I also noticed that Glass was quite insecure and sought the attention and praise from co-workers and bosses. Whenever he pitched stories he went all out and acted out certain moments to make it more entertaining and was always asking people "Are you mad at me?" anytime he tried to avoid trouble and gain sympathy. If there was one aspect of Glass's personality that seemed indisputably genuine, it was this nonstop yearning to please. He had a near-masochistic inability to say no to anyone in authority (Bissinger, 2007).

These two personality traits were the deadly combination that lead him to live a life full of lies.


Part Three:


            Years after being caught for his lies, Stephen Glass stood before an ethics panel at George Washington University to discuss all of his mistakes. When asked why he went through all of that trouble to create lies after lies, Glass replied, "I was a very broken person." Years of self-loathing and self-hatred lead him to do what he did (Shafer, 2003). Basically for someone to be that ethical, you need to have no moral base. It's sickening to me as to how he could live day to day while he lies, when he is supposed to be a tool for the public to gain truthful facts and information.

            Yet, it's so easy to forget that although his mistakes were great in size, we must also remember the seemingly unnoticed unethical choices we make (changing quote, adding source, editing photos/video...). It is something that we as journalists must think about everyday that we are working.

Part Four:


Bissinger, B. (1998). Shattered Glass. Vanity Fair. Retrieved from






Shafer, J. (2003). Half a Glass. Slate Magazine. Retrieved from



Ernie DiLullo: Blog 3 - "Shattered Glass" Reflection

 | | 0 TrackBacks
   Whenever you pick up a newspaper or a magazine, there might be a story that catches your eye immediately. Stephen Glass, a disgraced writer who wrote for The New Republic magazine, always had the most interesting and amusing articles. He wanted to grab the attention of the readers, but the things that he did were very unethical. He stretched the truth on all of his stories. He made up locations, events, and even made up people. He had been doing this for a while without anyone ever knowing, until the editor of the magazine at the time, Chuck Lane, discovered that all of Glass' stories were fabricated.

   In the movie "Shattered Glass," Hayden Christensen plays the role of Stephen Glass as the film goes through Glass' tenure as a writer for The New Republic. He tells his fellow writers about his "stories" that he was working on. At the time, everybody had no idea. So the big question is, why did Glass do what he did?

   I believe Stephen Glass fabricated all of his stories to grab the attention of the readers and to be sort of an entertainer when describing his stories to the writers and to the editor. He wanted to make sure that his stories were the best in the magazine, and he wanted to make sure that people would be talking about his work for a while. What Glass did was very high risk. If a journalist is caught fabricating their stories, it can lead to expulsions from their workplace, and could get them into a lot of legal trouble. I think Glass knew from the start what he was doing was wrong, but I think it was too hard for him to just simply stop. It was an addiction that he could not overcome, and because of it, he can never  get a good reputation ever again.

   Nobody knew at the time that Glass was fabricating his stories, but when Forbes Digital Tool could not find any trace of the characters or companies or governmental agencies mentioned to do a follow up story, New Republic editor Chuck Lane admitted that the story "contained fabricated characters and situations." What Glass did was very controversial and was very high risk. Some of the situations he created were like no other. His most famous story, entitled "Hacker Heaven," was the beginning of the end for Glass. You can go so far in life lying, but it will catch up to you, no matter how smart you are.

   A website, cleverly named "The Cheating Culture," describes Stephen Glass' rise to fame and his eventual downfall. Glass thought he had everybody fooled when he was writing his stories. he made up people, events, locations. He even created websites for companies he was making up. All of the lies piled up on top each other like one big lying cake. He was very smart, but maybe if he wasn't a journalist, he would have been set. But the fact is that he couldn't make up anything as a journalist, but he defied those rules by making up stories anyway.

   As an honest journalist, I would never want to fabricate any of my stories because I know of all of the eventual consequences. I don't think I would ever be in a situation like Glass' because after hearing about him and watching "Shattered Glass," I know what he did is not a very good example of good to honest journalism. What I have learned in the last month about Glass and his story forces me to always do the right thing and to never stretch the truth. I will write stories that will catch a reader's eye, and it will not be fabricated in any way.

   In conclusion, I have learned that Stephen Glass is a disgrace. He is not a very good example of what journalists should be doing. If you are lying, somebody is going to catch you in the act, no matter what. There is no denying the fact that what Glass did was very unethical. Who knows if anybody can ever trust him again, because I sure don't.


"Forbes smokes out fake New Republic story on hackers - Forbes.com." Forbes.com - Business News, Financial News, Stock Market Analysis, Technology & Global Headline News. Web. 03 Feb. 2010. <http://www.forbes.com/1998/05/11/otw.html>.

Stephen Glass." The Cheating Culture. Web. 04 Feb. 2010. <http://www.cheatingculture.com/stephenglass.htm>.


Nicole Ferrara: Blog 3 - "Shattered Glass"

 | | 0 TrackBacks
    In every journalism class I have taken here at Penn State, the weight of accuracy in reporting has been heavily stressed. I'd assume it safe to say that this account holds true for most other students with similar academic pursuits. However, often left out of the conversation are the ensuing questions of responsibility and to whom it belongs. Is the fabricator to carry the blame only? Or can the liabilities be placed elsewhere--such as the newspaper, editor, or other employees? Obviously, I'd choose to address fabrication as an ethical wrong and therefore not so much an issue. The issue, in my opinion, is the uncertainty as to where the fault lies. We can address this issue by evaluating the movie, "Shattered Glass."

    Before an evaluation can be made, it is essential to answer a number of questions. The first: Why did Glass do this? Or better yet--What motivated him to do this? In "Why They Lie: Probing Explanations for Journalistic Cheating," Ivor Shapiro offers several promising answers. He says initially that Glass longed "to be admired and loved."  This is actually illustrated quite clearly in the movie, as we see Glass ecstatic after the laughs and praise he receives following his narration of his fictional tales.
    However also in the movie Glass clearly chooses to point the finger at strain of a heavy workload on top of workplace pressures. This is where the previously discussed issue comes into play. According to Shapiro, there is a "rising value given to narrative detail and story-telling values in today's reporting." In order to get that front page story these days, you must not only report the facts, but you must report them well and in a manner that is more creative and interesting than the other competing stories. For an ambitious young reporter like Glass, fabrication seemed like a good way to do this. But here is where the question lies: Is this emphasis on vivid and rich details, in all actuality, just a new form of pressure from editors and papers? According to Glass, yes.
    Yet this is only one reason why some would hold the editors and coworkers equally responsible. The other reason stems from the assumption that it is their job to catch this before it gets to the point of a Stephen Glass. By just watching the movie, I could tell that these stories were obviously out there. Though the movie is just a representation, in "Faking it," Tom Scocca writes that "The Glass stories create such entertaining little pictures that they slip right past the question of whether the big picture should be believed or not. While the New Republic may have been, as the editors write in an apology this week, victimized by 'systematic and intentional deceptions," it was a willing victim, beguiled by snazzy storytelling."

    In conclusion, I do not take any blame away from Stephen Glass and his wrongdoings. He knowingly committed a journalistic sin, and for that there is no justification. However, it is in my strong opinion that I believe the blame must be extended elsewhere. In the movie, "Shattered Glass," co-workers and editors were portrayed as innocent victims fooled by a witty young reporter. Though he was by all means charismatic and charming, it is their JOB to make sure only the truth is given to their audience. They failed to do so, and therefore should be held accountable as well.

Scocca, Tom. (1998). Faking it. The Boston Phoenix, Retrieved from http://www.bostonphoenix.com/archive/features/98/05/21/MEDIA.html

Shapiro, Ivor. (2006). Why they Lie: probing the explanations for journalistic cheating. Canadian Journal of Communications, 31. Retrieved from http://www.cjc-online.ca/index.php/journal/article/viewArticle/1595/1748

Somer Wiggins: Blog 3- Broken Glass Reflection

 | | 0 TrackBacks

"Shattered Glass" presented many ethical issues while telling the story of Stephen Glass' career and fall from reporting. Glass was a reporter at the New Republic magazine in Washington, D.C. who fabricated stories when under pressure to bring interesting stories to the magazine.

Fabricating a story is lying. Lying to your readers, lying to your colleagues, lying to your editors. Lying is not allowed in journalism and not tolerated, as demonstrated by Glass' immediate dismissal once his ethical failures were discovered.

Glass is not the first reporter to fall victim to this major mistake. Multiple talented young reporters have fabricated portions or entire stories when under pressure to live up to expectations. Glass was considered an up and coming star at the New Republic. And was known for his outlandish stories and felt the need to live up to those expectations

But regardless of his reasoning, what he did was wrong and he should have known that. Journalists are held to certain ethical standards, as we are the ones who bring the news to the world. It's expected that what we're writing is true.

Sadly, this is falling the way side as people like Glass feel the need to spice things up by making things up. Needless to say, other journalists didn't appreciate Glass' actions either. I think Chip Scanlan summed it up best in his article "A Matter of Trust" when he said,  "Unlike fiction writers, reporters are limited to what actually happened, not what might have happened or what reads more smoothly." Our job isn't to sensationalize the news; it's to report it.

Because of Glass' (and others') actions, journalists' ethics around the world are being called into question, even those who have never done anything wrong. Yet, we still have reports in recent years of reporters fabricating stories. In his article "Wait before you narrate," Russell Frank wrote, "it is a curious thing that at the very moment when journalistic credibility is being called into question, a growing number of journalists are abandoning the verbal assurances of their credibility." He brings up a very valid point.

At a time like this, the last thing journalism needs is more reporters abandoning their ethics. We need the opposite. Ethics codes need to be acknowledged, followed and appreciated. And we need to remember what a journalist is. A journalist is supposed to be the watchdog of the government, someone who exposes that truth. We shouldn't need our own watchdogs.




Frank, R. (2002, Jan. 23). Wait Before You Narrate. PoynterOnline. <http://www.poynter.org/content/content_view.asp?id=4151>.

Scanlan, C. (2003, May 12). A Matter of Trust. PoynterOnline. <http://www.poynter.org/column.asp?id=52&aid=33725>.


Adam Reale-Blog 3:Ethics in "Shattered Glass"

 | | 0 TrackBacks

            Though there were countless ethical dilemmas strewn throughout "Shattered Glass," the most prominent and blatant issue was the continuous lying that Stephen Glass did; to his editors, friends, and readers alike; in order to further his reputation. In situations like this, I usually do my best to give the accused party the benefit of the doubt, but Glass's actions were so calculated and deliberate that I see no way to justify any of them.

            The most obvious reason that I can come up with as to why Glass acted the way that he did was that he knew that what he was doing was working, and was arrogant enough to think that he could actually get away with it. He loved being the center of attention, and though that the best way to do this was to have the most exciting story, which in turn would help to further his blossoming career.

            In an interview with 60 minutes, Glass said "I loved the electricity of people liking my stories. I loved going to story conference meetings and telling people what my story was going to be, and seeing the room excited. I wanted every story to be a home run."

            One of the biggest problems with being a journalist is that even though you may want it to be, every article is not going to be "home run." Many of them are going to be mundane hard news articles that are not meant to be spruced up at all. Like he said, Glass wanted every article to be a slam dunk, and was willing to make the extremely unethical decision to make things up. In a situation like this, the best thing that you can do is simply accept the articles for what they are and make the best of them.

            An important lesson to take out of this is, as cliché as it sounds, lying can only hurt you. Stephen Glass was an incredibly promising young reporter with tremendous talent. Unfortunately, the unethical decisions that he made while at The New Republic caused him shame that most of us cannot even imagine. Had he simply written the stories that actually happened instead of fabricating them, he may have been one of the top journalists in the country today. Sadly, we will never know what he could have been.

            It is still important to discuss issues and cases like this one today because, put simply, we do not live in a perfect world. Any journalist in the world could make the same mistakes that Glass made at The New Republic. His tale should be a cautionary one for anyone entering the journalism field.


Cbsnews.com, R. L. (n.d.). Stephen Glass: I Lied For Esteem. Retrieved 
               February 3, 2010, from

Leah green "shattered glass" blog 3

 | | 0 TrackBacks
       I found this to be a very interesting and shocking story.  When watching this movie as well as listening to the interview afterwards I felt bad for him but at the same time I think It was completely unacceptable what he was doing.  It was not like he did it one time or by accident.  It was countless times and I am so surprised he did not get caught sooner.  Everyone in this world knows better than to cheat your way out of something, you know when your doing something wrong but I guess the problem is can you stop yourself?
I know its hard sometimes when writing you want to make things sound more interesting or you would love to add a certain word to describe something better but its not something that really completely fits.  I think if that's what you want to do maybe you should write books not news stories pertaining to ACTUAL real life scenarios.
I definitely think Glass did what he did because he was getting so much attention, acknowledgement for finding and writing these amazing articles on amazing stories. Clearly his editors liked him as well as most people in the office.  I guess he just couldn't give up all the positive feedback he was getting.  He should have never got as far as he did.  In an article I found on the actual case of Steven Glass Penenberg said "The incident rebuts the "bad rap" he feels online journalists have endured. "I think that print has looked down on us, and I don't think it's fair,"  (AJR).    I feel bad for them and something like that really does ruin your credibility as a writer and Steven Glass clearly was not thinking about how many people around him he was affecting of a mistake that he made.  I was looking online for other cases like Glass's and I found one about a guy named Glenn Mitchell from an Australian newspaper HNN had copied things a guy Named Eric black had wrote about.  This was eventually investigated and he was in trouble for plagiarism and so on.  It's amazing to me that people work hard to get where they are with working in a well-respected magazine and than you do something like that.  It just amazes me.
I think if you are going to be a journalist or writer of some sort you should no better.  You should know and be aware for how far you have come to be where you are working.  Why work so hard and to be able to write stories and report why put everything you have worked so hard for at risk.   I hope now that this seems to be a problem and its not unheard of journalists need to be more careful and at some point you are going to get caught.  I certainly have learned since as far as I can remember how important it is to site were you get your information, don't fabricate things that are not true when writing about something that's happening or has happened.

Robertson, Lori. "Shattered Glass." AJR (1998): n. pag. Web. 2 Feb 2010. <http://www.ajr.org/article.asp?id=1838>.

Shenkman, Rick. "Anoher Case of Plagerism." HNN n. pag. Web. 2 Feb 2010. <http://hnn.us/articles/1498.html>.

Morgan Jones: Blog 3 - Shattered Mess

 | | 0 TrackBacks

Shattered Mess


The story of Stephen Glass is one that should be shared with any aspiring journalist from the beginning of their studies.  I remember seeing the movie "Shattered Glass" when I was in high school, and his experience fabricating stories has stuck with me throughout college.  What Glass did was ethically wrong and I am still arguing with myself as to whether or not he meant harm through his actions.  Obviously, his lying and creative fictional writing raises many intense ethical discussions and provides many ethical messages that can be interpreted differently with each journalist.  I have my own thoughts about his situation and respect those of others so here is what I think.

When I say I am arguing with myself about whether Glass meant harm through his actions, I mean I am trying to put myself in Glass's shoes and try to see the situation from his perspective.  The reason his lies were supported and looked over was because Glass was very friendly and likeable to his peers and therefore they all backed him when crazy accusations were made against his stories and sources. But then I wonder whether his manners and people skills were even genuine.  Whether or not he was sincere, I think Glass kept lying and covering up his tracks to not disappoint his peers and eventually just got tangled into one huge web of lies.  But then again, people are taught from day one that lying is wrong let alone trying to pass off fake stories as being true. 

Through my research on this topic, I have primarily discovered a negative connotation when it comes to Glass's name.  In an article from Newsweek by Seth Mnookin in 2003, Glass is referred to as "...a founding member of the liar's club" and makes references that the only reason Glass is apologizing publicly is because his book was being published and he therefore needed positive publicity.  Mnookin states Glass "couldn't be sorry at a more convenient time" and also ends his article by questioning Glass's character.  These questions will forever be raised about Glass and its a reality he won't be able to escape.

In another article by Joellen Perry from U.S. News and World Report from 2003, Glass is described as sleazy and characterizes the first opening lines of his book, Fabulist, as whiny. 

But it was not until I read an article from USA Today by Joel Saltzman in 1998 that I finally saw someone try to explain Glass's actions.  Saltzman cites pressure and the ability to write stories that will please editors and audiences to cause journalists to stray and rely on anonymous sources for their stories to pump circulation.  Saltman points out that journalism makes everyone equal, no matter their background, and that everyone's primary goal it is to make readers and editors happy especially so they can keep their jobs.  In Saltzman's opinion, fabrication is too nice of a word to describe lying.  He ends his article by saying, "No newsroom can afford liars, even if they are well-meaning, articulate, and hard-working journalists."

I think that was Stephen Glass's problem.  He fit those three descriptions which probably bought him so much more time in the newsroom and kept him on his peers' good sides.  If I were Stephen Glass, I would try to disappear and move on with my life.  I don't think trying to break into a law career is a smart move either, whether he passes the bar or not.  Who would hire a liar?  No matter what he does or says, Glass will always be known as a liar, even if he is telling the truth.  The sad thing is, people will probably never be able to tell when he is telling the truth.

From being exposed to this man's mistakes, I, and hopefully others, can learn from them and witness the consequences that would arise if put in the same situation.  Ethics is still important for people to learn about because as journalists, we are supposed to be trusted and supposed to be the messengers to the public about what is going on in the world.  Journalists are expected to be the ones with all the facts so if people can't trust a journalist then who can you trust?



Seth Mnookin.  (2003, May). Total fiction. Newsweek, 141(20), 70-71.  Retrieved February 3, 2010, from ABI/INFORM Global. (Document ID: 337038341).
Joe Saltzman.  (1998, September). There is no place for lying in any newsroom. USA Today, 127(2640), 57.  Retrieved February 3, 2010, from Research Library Core. (Document ID: 33550336).
Joellen Perry.  (2003, May). A fabricator fictionalizes his fraud. U.S. News & World Report, 134(17), 4.  Retrieved February 3, 2010, from Research Library Core. (Document ID: 335198451).

Whitni Rouse-Blog 3 "Shattered Glass"

 | | 0 TrackBacks

I was disgusted after watching the movie Shattered Glass because I honestly couldn't believe how far someone would go to fabricate stories. As a journalist that's something that should never be done because a journalist has an obligation to be truthful to the audience, and as a person there's so much stress a person who lies so much has to deal with.

Yes Stephen Glass did write for a very prestigious magazine called The New Republic and I am sure the job gets very stressful with deadlines to meet but that is still no excuse. If Glass was unable to find stories to write then maybe his career as a journalist should've been reconsidered. In the 60 minutes piece that Stephen Glass did with reporter, Steve Kroft, Glass said, "I remember thinking, 'If I just had the exact quote that I wanted to make it work, it would be perfect.' And I wrote something on my computer, and then I looked at it, and I let it stand. And then it ran in the magazine and I saw it. And I said to myself what I said every time these stories ran, 'You must stop. You must stop.' But I didn't." I don't believe that Glass ever thought that he was going to stop because once you receive that positive attention it's like a drug and a person can't help but to be addicted to it. He knew what he was doing and if he never got caught I think he would still be doing the same thing to this day.

 In an article titled "Stephen Glass' former colleagues say journalist's deception should be obvious" written in post-gazette Charles Lane, then editor of The New Republic, said that he was certain that he was finished as a journalist. Why? Because Lane didn't think that people would believe that he when he knew something was up with Glass' stories. I can completely understand that because when you look at Glass he has this innocent image like he would do nothing wrong plus he had never been caught before so why now? If I was faced with a similar situation as Stephen Glass I would be honest with myself first and then of course with the professor. If there was a chance when I had to write a paper and I couldn't come up with anything legit, and I felt the need to lie I would speak with a professor to see if they can help me out with ideas. I'd rather do that then to face the results which could be much worse. I don't think I have learned much about the Stephen Glass situation because of course I know that it is wrong to fabricate and to plagiarize, but I feel like Glass got off way too easy. I don't think he learned his lesson even though he said he did. He was still able to publish a book and I am sure he is making money off of that.

I don't think Glass is the best example to use in ethical decisions because yes he lost his dream job, but he is still in this "business" technically. It's important to still talk about the issue because people will continue to fabricate if they don't know what the consequences are. A lot of people believe that they won't get caught so cases like Stephen Glass will teach people that there are consequences for your actions.


Leung, Rebecca. "Stephen Glass: I Lied For Esteem." CBS News N.p., 17 Apr. 2003. . MacPherson, Karen. "Stephen Glass' former colleagues say journalist's deception should have been obvious." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 23 November 2003.

Lexi Belculfine: Blog 3- Reaction to Shattered Glass

 | | 0 TrackBacks
Glass, Shattered and Broken
Glass, Stephen.jpg

Stephen Glass fabricated articles.


 And Stephen Glass lied to cover up this fabrication.


His mistakes were neither innocent, nor unintentional.  Mortal sins in the newsroom, Glass committed both of these transgressions again, and again, and again. As if passing off fiction for news wasn't enough, Glass did everything in his power to cover up this tale-turned-truth, even creating an illegitimate Web site for a fake company, Jukt Micronics.


While there is no encompassing ethical standard or law for journalists, the Society of Professional Journalists has established an accepted code of conduct. The principles set forth are simple -- seek truth and report it, minimize harm and act independently and be accountable.


Glass didn't seek or report the truth. He didn't even try to perform one of these tasks. He created fiction and wrote it -- in 27 of the 41 articles he had written. The Code specifically states, "Deliberate distortion is never permissible." From the articles, to the sources, fake voicemails and Web sites, he continually distorted facts.


I feel the most sympathy for Glass's editors. In our textbook, the manipulation is discussed. They put their faith and trust into their prodigy, but he manipulated the system by knowing how to bypass the fact checking system (Foreman 127). They were helpless to Glass's intentions. Foreman continues to say, "Anyone who sets out to fabricate probably will succeed, at least for a while" (134). The editors could have done little to prevent this transgression.


But I am jealous of Alan Penenberg's role in the Glass saga. He was able to live up to the Code of Ethics, exposing the dirty journalism of The New Yorker's finest. Though probably a hard decision to make, Penenberg  wrote "Lies, damn lies and fiction" in 1998. He wrote:

"It's tough proving a negative. It is even tougher proving that something or someone does not exist.

That was the challenge after The New Republic story, "Hack Heaven," which appeared in the May 18 issue, proved to be unverifiable. At first it appeared that Forbes Digital had been scooped by a weekly political publication."

These journalists represented the spectrum of reporting - from fiction to investigation. Hearing about Glass's rise and fall makes my skin crawl and my heart go out to his editors, blindsided by his kindness and promise. I can only hope that in my career as a journalist, I will never encounter someone so immoral.


I have worked in a professional newsroom for the past two years -- in fact, I am writing this entry listening to other editors critiquing writers' work, talking through the day's news and planning the layout for tomorrow's newspaper.

When I wrote (I'm now an editor), I dreaded the e-mails I would get with a subject line reading, "Error in Tuesday's Paper." Minor, innocent errors like mistaking a title would elicit corrections on page two of my beloved paper. I felt like I had failed everyone -- my editors, our readers, myself and my grandmother, who has a shoebox full of every one of my clips.

Though I am proud to say I have only ever had two minor corrections, I can still remember the sinking feeling at the bottom of my stomach as I sincerely apologized to my editor-in-chief.

I don't know how Stephen Glass slept at night.



1.  Foreman, Gene. (2010). The Ethical Journalist: Making responsible decisions in the pursuit of news. West Sussex: John Wiley and Sons Ltd.

2.  Penenberg, Alan L. (May 11, 1998). Lies, damn lies and fiction. Retrieved February 4, 2010. http://www.forbes.com/1998/05/11/otw3.html

3.  Society of Professional Journalists. (1996). Retrieved February 4, 2010. Code of Ethics. http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp

Importance of Accuracy (Blog 3)

 | | 0 TrackBacks

Part 1: The life of Stephen Glass, represented through the film "Shattered Glass," was an entirely unique and eccentric one. His career in journalism stirred up many ethical issues concerning false sources, false quoting, and completely made-up articles. It's quite appalling how far he got in his career at the New Republic while maintaining such a false set of stories.


Part 2: The film portrayed glass in a fairly forgivable light. According to Facts and Fictions by Beckerman, Glass is "sanitized for the sake of the story into just a pathetic kid dangerously out of his league, wanting to be loved and accepting, eating up the smiles and attention that he gets as he pitches his fantastical tales to his colleagues." Instead of wondering how Glass could have possibly obtained the experience and expertise in journalism that he did, and then manage to completely make an amusement park out of The New Republic. I can't help but wonder, "Didn't they send photographers out with their reporters to cover stories?" I just can't fathom how this average Joe could have fooled an entire magazine staff for so long. Beckerman said, "it's easier to pin the blame for his offense... on the world that nurtured and fed him."


Part 3: The importance I learned from this film is the importance of accurate recording. It can be difficult to be a journalist. People talk fast, and your hand only writes so fast. One word can get mistaken for another. One word can be totally missed. Although it happens, it's important for me to constantly concentrate on making sure my notes are completely accurate. I can't feel silly for asking someone to repeat himself or herself four times if I have to get my facts straight.


Part 4: Beckerman, Gal (2003). Facts and Fictions: Columbia Journalism Review. 

Kaitlin Mottola - Blog 3: "Shattered Glass"

 | | 0 TrackBacks

There were two main issues in "Shattered Glass" that I had a major problem with. For one, it was his continuous lying to make people believe he was truthful when he got caught. In addition, I couldn't believe he actually made up sources and got away with it.

Glass kept going on with his elaborate stories even though he knew it was wrong, but it seemed as though it did not affect him guilt-wise. His dishonesty was almost fascinating to me because he never let up.  I feel like he started lying more once he saw that he could get away with it. But what added to his problem was his popularity in finding and researching ridiculous stories. He felt that if he had come around to a boring story, no one would like him anymore.

Not only did he fabricate quotes, but the sources they came from as well. An article, "Pros at the Con," in the New York Times included commentary about Stephen Glass. Maureen Dowd, the author, referred to a quote from Leon Wieseltier who was The New Republic's unsuspecting literary editor. ''We're mentally prepared for honest mistakes. And everybody lies. But most people lie because they're afraid, not because they get pleasure out of deceiving or because they have contempt for people and standards of probity.''

According to "Storytelling vs. Truth telling" from the Nieman Reports, "The emerging willingness to ignore the boundary between fiction and nonfiction, whether to make our work more entertaining or to make ourselves more celebrated, can do what no outside power can ever do-it can make journalism irrelevant to free people." I feel as though that summarizes Glasses predicament and I most definitely agree with it.

I myself would never even think of making up false stories just for good credentials and popularity. I think of myself as someone who prepares for the future, and if I were to make such a terrible mistake, I would have absolutely nothing left for myself to accomplish. Not only would I never land another great job, but I would be considered a disappointment. I get no satisfaction in cheating or taking the short way out. I feel as though a good story is not worth it if no hard work was put into it. My recommendations would be to talk to someone about what's going on in your life if it's just getting too hard. It will never be okay to lie just to meet a deadline.

In conclusion, lying and making up sources, just as Glass did, is never okay. There is never going to be a time when it is socially acceptable. Hard work is something that is required of any person in order to reach their goal. If one were to take the easy way out, it will only jeopardize their chances of really succeeding.


Dowd, M. (2003, Nov 2). Pros at the Con. New York Times. Retrieved February 3, 2010, from http://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/02/opinion/pros-at-the-con.html.

Anonymous. (Fall 1998). Storytelling vs. Truth telling. Neiman Reports. Retrieved February 3, 2010 from http://proquest.umi.com/.

Tim Tebow $3,000,000 Super Bowl Ad

 | | 0 TrackBacks

We all watch the Super Bowl as an American tradition for spectating great football. Others of us watch just for the commercials. The price tags for these commercials are in the millions, so we know these ads are going to be great.

This Sunday, Tim Tebow, recent graduate of University Florida, and one of the best quater backs of his time, will be the star of one of these glorified commercials.

There is a big controversy with this ad, however, because it deals with abortion rights.The group called, "Focus on the Family" is funding it.

 The background of the story is that Tebow's mom had amoebic dysentery during her pregnancy and doctors told her she would need to abort the baby in order to save her own life. Based on her own ethical thinking, she decided to keep the pregnancy to full term.

The outcome? Tim Tebow, a great football player who will be a future NFL star.

The problem? Super Bowl commericals with controversy topics in the past have been shut down. PETA, religious groups, gay right groups, and others have been shut down immediately. But this commerical is okay to air during a family focused event like the Super Bowl?

Ethically thinking, I do not believe this ad should be run. In my opinion, it is being broadcasted just because Tebow is a famous football player. If it were an ordinary person, they would have shut down this ad as fast as they rejected the PETA ad.

Chris McFarland-Blog 3: Shattered Glass-The Best Stories Attract the Most Attention: Good and Bad

 | | 0 TrackBacks

            All journalists want to succeed.  All journalists hope to write for a major publication someday.  In our society today, everyone wants to rise to the top of their field and do it as quick as possible.  However, no one can just get to the top from the start.  It takes time.  The work people do must first be noticed as high quality work.  They must first become a fairly well-known name in the field.  The high quality work must receive lots of attention.

            A good story always attracts a large amount of attention.  But what happens if the writer only wants the good attention and none of the bad?  This is the issue Stephen Glass deals with in "Shattered Glass".  In journalism, it is the writer's duty to present all the facts of a topic in entirety, and to make sure that these facts are indeed true.  Publishing untrue statements as facts breaks the cardinal rule of journalism.  A journalist's career can be destroyed even if just a few facts in a story are considered skeptical.  Glass took this issue to a whole new level, fabricating over a dozen of his stories entirely.

            There are a number of reasons why Glass may have fabricated his story.  Glass could have simply broken Kant's Categorical Imperative and ignored his conscience.  Kant states that Conscience is inborn in every person and it must be obeyed, and to violate one's conscience--no matter how feeble and uninformed--brings about feelings of guilt (Christians, Fackler, McKee, Kreshel, & Woods, 2009).  Glass only listened to his conscience once the charges started raining down on him.  Another reason stated by Glass and his co-workers in the movie was that he was overwhelmed between his workload and his classes and he simply got sloppy with his notes.  This, in some cases, can be an honest mistake, and can be proven as an honest mistake.  Under the stress of a deadline, the fabrication of notes and quotes can be a quick and simple solution for a journalist to still provide a high quality piece of work in a short amount of time.  During The New Republic's investigation, Glass ignored his conscience and was only looking out for his own good. He fell into the trap of careerism, a serious professional problem that often tempts us to act out of our own self-interest while we claim to be following our conscience (Christians, Fackler, McKee, Kreshel, & Woods, 2009).  The problem with his actions, of course, is that they were illegal and broke the most basic rules of journalism. 


Christians, C.G., Fackler, M., McKee, K.B., Kreshel, P.J., & Woods, R.H. (2009). Media ethics: cases and moral reasoning. Boston, Ma.: Pearson Education.

Gina McNamee: Blog 3-Shattered Glass

 | | 0 TrackBacks

From the very first minute of the film "Shattered Glass," I was on the edge of my seat, totally hooked to what would happen next.  I knew that there must have been something wrong happening; all these stories seemed too good to be true, and the simple errors (did the conference hotel have mini bars?) that Stephen Glass' editor found were easily fixed by a simple phone call, and that was that.  The most entertaining thing of all, however, was Stephen's ability to lie without flaw, and without care for his audience.  His stories were so elegant, the words came out of his mouth and onto the paper like a flowing stream. Little did anyone know that this stream was tainted and a false image.

                There could be a hundred big theories as to why Glass did this; why he lied to the readers of The New Republic, his co-workers and editors, and most of all, to himself.  He fooled himself and everyone else into thinking he was this great young reporter on the track to being one of the bests.  When it all came crashing down, in my opinion, it was a mixture of many little things that led Stephen to lie.

                First of all, there is the pressure of being so young at such a prestigious magazine.  I can understand that greatness was demanded of him, but clearly he must have lacked the confidence it took to perform under stress.  Maybe Glass felt an inner conflict with the truth;  that could explain his actions after the scandal took place.  Glass "retreated to law school, where absolute fidelity to the truth is less of a cardinal virtue" (Lewis).  While in the process of making up the stories, my thoughts are that he realized once he could get away with it, and then just kept adding and adding until the stories became too lavish to stop. Glass even admits to this in a 2003 60 Minutes interview, stating " the general trend of the stories is that they started out with a few made up details and quotes. And granted a few too many, of course. But a few. And then they progressed into stories that were completely fabricated. Just completely made up out of whole cloth." 

                In my personal life, I've dealt with the conflict of interest of wanting to cheat, just like everyone else.  But I know that even if I were to, say, cheat off somebody else during an exam...whose to say they have the right answers?  Or whose to say that karma won't come around to get you in the end?  Clearly Glass was not able to think about the future serious consequences of his actions; or maybe he just thought he was invincible.  Either way, his fallacy could not last forever and he got what was coming to him

                It's important not to forget Stephen Glass and his fabricated stories.  Journalists today need to realize how serious it is to do what he did, and the only way for them to glean that is to learn from the past and not make the same mistakes that Glass did.

Lewis, M. (2003, June 11). The Fabulist. Forbes.com. Retrieved from

Leug, R. (2003, August 17). Stphen Glass: I Lied for Esteem. CBS News: 60 Minutes. Retrived from http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/05/07/60minutes/main552819.shtml 


Stephanie Tabor: Blog 3- Shattered Glass

 | | 0 TrackBacks

After viewing the film "Shattered Glass," which depicts the career of the young journalist Stephen Glass, who defied journalism ethics and lost the trust of his colleagues and readers, I picked up on some critical issues. One critical issue was the act of lying. Glass was dishonest and went further to cover up his lies with even greater lies. Watching his mistakes and his career unfold I was disgusted with the lack of respect he showed to The New Republic, his editor, and most importantly his readers.

The field of journalism is one that is extremely competitive. You can sit down and write a piece and think it's great but the only opinions that really matter are those of your readers. Glass fabricated his stories in order to sell and gain popularity in the field. He needed to stand out, to do something to make his stories attract more readers than the millions of other articles and papers across the globe. It is hard to understand sometimes why people do what they do but sometimes people allow the pressure to be great to outweigh their morals and values. Glass neglected his ethical standards as a journalist in order to attract attention to his stories. He choose to be a liar rather then a journalist when in reality if he wrote the truth and took the initiative as a journalist to uncover a story, his writing would still be able to attract many readers.

In an article in Vanity Fair written by Buzz Bissinger, Glass's reputation was said to have "exploded exponentially after a few of his better-than-true stories that he could basically write anything and get away with it." Sadly enough through manipulation and planning Glass did get away with it fabricating 27 of his 41 articles. It goes to show that lies and deceit can become a vicious cycle. For instance, Glass fabricates one story and gets a strong response from readers, which ultimately fuels him to continue fabricating. From this I learned that if you lie its better to speak the truth and confess to your actions rather then dig yourself into a deeper hole and allow lies to consume you.

Bissinger went on to say that Glass's actions were " wrenching, shameful, and sad," and if there is a reason or explanation for what he did his family has chosen not to offer that reasoning. This goes to show the horrifying and unfortunate consequences of Glass's actions. Not only did he damage his own reputation in the journalism industry yet he embarrassed his family. Glass set out to be a strong journalist and in the process made himself a weak and shameful man.

In an article I read by Rebecca Leung, Glass's interview on 60 minutes was analyzed in further detail. Leung quoted Glass in his interview when he said "I loved the electricity of people liking my stories. I loved going to story conference meetings and telling people what my story was going to be, and seeing the room excited. I wanted every story to be a home run."  Glass thrived on being accepted on being "better" then the standard journalist. He strove to impress rather then write and in the process lost sight of his job, which was to tell the truth.

What I learned from Stephen Glass is that its better to be honest than to be deceitful because in the end you have to wake up each morning knowing that you did the right thing and that you are a good person. I am studying journalism in school and although I am going down the broadcasting track, Glass's mistakes have taught me the importance of ethics in the field. A journalist is someone who must present the facts and the truth because they owe it to the people to bring a story. It's not about selling the most or gaining popularity it's about doing your job and doing it right.

I feel that it is crucial that the mistakes of Stephen Glass remain an issue of discussion because they exemplify qualities that no journalist should ever follow. Unfortunately, there are still journalists out there who feel the need to fabricate and plagiarize to further their own career. It is important that people are educated on the consequences and repercussions of deceit not only in journalism but in the real world as well.


Bissinger, B. (1998, September). Shattered Glass. Vanity Fair. Retrieved from



Leung, R. (2003, August 17). Stephen Glass : I Lied for Esteem. CBS News: 60 minutes. Retrieved from


Catherine Marvin: Blog 3 - Shattered Glass

 | | 0 TrackBacks

After watching the movie Shattered Glass, I came to the realization that Stephen Glass did things that were so wrong that he must not have possessed any ethical standards whatsoever.  Glass first became unethical when he simply embellished a few quotes.  This unethical action led him into even deeper waters where he began making up people, places and events.  All of these decisions made by Glass, bring about an intense ethical message to me; they are all extremely morally wrong.

Glass is an interesting person to study because it is unfathomable to me as to how one person could lie so much and go to all ends to try to hide the lies like he did.  He really wanted to just change a few quotes in an article to make it sound better, which is still unethical.  However, this opened up a can of lies for Glass.  The wonderful reception that he got from his article, led him to embellish more facts, which gave him praise and led him to completely making up stories.

Glass' fabrications were found by Forbes Digital, and it was interesting to read the first article that was published after the scandal was unleashed.  The story, "Hack Heaven" contained information that Forbes did not think could be true.  They investigated thoroughly, and were unable to track down any of the names, places or governmental agencies that the article incorporated.

Forbes Digital presented their findings to Charles Lane, the editor of The New Republic, and he did not know of the fabrications, but he later talked to Glass who admitted that he lied (Peneberg).

This original article reporting the findings of Glass' unethical journalism was very interesting to read.  It shows how shocked everyone was to find this out.  It is also intriguing because the falsity of Glass' other articles had not yet been discovered, so the article is discussing something that unknowingly has much unraveling to do.

The Glass case relates to a more recent case of unethical journalism with Jayson Blair, a New York Times reporter.  Another interesting article was from Slate Magazine.  It says that Jayson Blair has joined a group of "journalists who got caught embellishing, exaggerating, and outright lying in print" (Shafer).  This proves that forever, these journalists will not be trusted and will have a poor reputation to their name.

After watching the movie and reading articles relating to unethical journalism, I have learned that is always important to keep your ethical principles in mind when reporting.  It must be known that even slightly changing a quote could ruin your career, reputation, and most importantly, your values in life.



Penenberg, A. L. (1998, May 11). Forbes smokes out fake New Republic story on hackers  - Forbes.com. Forbes.com . Retrieved February 3, 2010, from http://www.forbes.com/1998/05/11/otw.html

Shafer, J. (2003, May 8). The Jayson Blair Project. Slate Magazine. Retrieved February 3, 2010, from http://www.slate.com/id/2082741/

Ken Layng: Blog 3 - Lacking Integrity: Bias in What Is NOT Covered

 | | 0 TrackBacks

Justice Is Blind: Let Principles and Integrity Be the Guide

If I were to tell you that there was a high-profile election, with national implications that would affect every American, you would probably agree that this is news worthy: the campaign, the tactics, the strategy, the whole works. Then, what would you say if I told you that two major cable news networks provided a good deal of coverage of the story up to that point but that, while they both covered the entire concession speech for the candidate who lost, one network did not do the same for the prevailing candidate. It's clear that the speech that is offered by the prevailing candidate is more immediately relevant since that candidate will now be shaping policy. Now, we all have our biases. But can we be consistent if challenged with an ethical dilemma before we know whether it supports our closely held views? How necessary is it to know if my "dog is in this fight"? For what it's worth, I am speaking of the recent Massachusetts Senate race, and CNN is the network that cut the coverage of Senator-elect Scott Brown's victory speech  (Source), which included a good deal of reaching out to build bridges with the other side, and articulating positions that arguably had not gotten adequate coverage up to that point. If you have a personal preference (a bias), listen to your thoughts. Do you begin justify or rationalize the decision? If so, you may be discovering that the ends justify the means, even if the means aren't entirely unbiased.

What Is Omitted?
Because the nation has become so polarized, and because there are so many places for people to get "their news", it has become difficult to find true impartiality. There is no question that CNN leans left and FoxNews leans right. I would prefer that I get no so-called 'impartiality', but instead a good representation from different views on an issue. Let biases be disclosed up front; the viewers and readers are smart enough to handle it, and it would go a long way to re-establish trust. For example, this morning, when president Obama told Senate Democrats to "turn off the TV", MSNBC responded by cutting coverage in favor of regularly scheduled programming. FoxNews carried the address in its entirety, but did not carry the Q&A.  CNN carried the address and the Q&A. (See the Story). Even the headline of the cited source is somewhat slanted, using the heavy-handed word "Shuns" in connection with FoxNews while, for MSNBC, it used a much more permissive "gets snitty". FoxNews was actually more consistent. MSNBC allegedly made its decision to cut based on the content of what was being said, a much greater offense in my mind.

Trends: Skepticism Has Replaced Trust
I remember a time when it was presumed by a majority of America that the media was widely trusted. Despite our very best efforts, it seems to me that, today, skeptics rule the day. They are largely persuaded that media has a hand, not just in reporting news events, but carefully cultivating public sentiment on social and political issues. I contend that the so-called alternative news media - disliked as they are by the traditional establishment media - is ultimately good for the truth of a story, for journalism as a profession, and for accountability in general.

Walter Cronkite, the anchorman for CBS news prior to Dan Rather, was known by many as "the most trusted man in America", but he still had to decide what he deemed newsworthy into a one-hour broadcast. This was a time when there was much greater trust in government, and there was not the general inclination to question the facts as they were presented. Indoctrination and propaganda were perceived as tools of other nations - not the United States of America. But a perfect storm of events in the 80s and 90s led to a strong current of belief that there was a good deal of bias in traditional media outlets.  First, as a result of deregulation by the FCC in the early 80s, conservative voices could be heard on the airwaves like never before. Their audiences grew because their messages resonated with millions.  In the 90s, the electronic media began to emerge as a significant distribution channel for people to express views, and hear more of the story. News was no longer a one-directional conversation from a select few. Then, in 2004, Dan Rather was found to have used forged memos in reporting a major news event to the American people (Source). This event, on top of the skepticism that had already existed in the minds of so many, dealt a death blow to traditional broadcast media.

When Katie Couric can enjoy a salary equivalent to 200 journalists earning $75,000 each (Source), and when we subsidize a point of view with tax dollars through public broadcasting, is it any wonder that an increasing majority of Americans are disillusioned by a lack of objectivity in the media?

Zachary Schmidt: Blog 3- Lies and the Shattered Glass

 | | 0 TrackBacks

Ever since we are young children and we first start school, the one thing that is hammered into our heads is do not cheat and if you plagiarize you will get caught. Somehow along the way from our childhood education to the time we reach high school and onward, people begin to ignore the warnings. These people choose to cut corners, using work that is not their own, or fabricating works. But why do people, particularly journalist, continue to plagiarize or fabricate works? In a career that thirsts for truth, why do they try to deceive their editors, their friends, and most of all the people who rely on their stories?


In my opinion the choice to go into journalism comes from a pure belief that we can help people that we can inform them on what is going on in the world around them. It is even stated in the Society of Profession Journalists code of ethics. The SPJ says, "Members of the Society of Professional Journalists believe that public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues" (SPJ).


In that sense it is hard for me to understand what would cause a journalist to go through with plagiarism. Not only will it hurt your career but also the people who trust in your story. In an interview on CNN's 60 Minutes, Stephen Glass stated, "I wanted a story that I thought would be the perfect story. And that the readers would most enjoy to read" (Lueng). I completely disagree with his statements; not only because I am strongly against the idea of fabrication, but also because there are plenty of newsworthy stories that can appeal to the readers.


I do realize that one of the purposes of a journalist is to help gain popularity for the magazine or station or whatever particular type of medium it maybe, the chief duty and obligation is to provide the truth. Journalists such as Stephen Glass and other known plagiarists, help to fuel the poor image of the media through their lies and misconceptions. 


It is clear to everyone that what journalists like Stephen Glass and Jayson Blair did was wrong, but why do such people who were part of such a horrible situation rewarded. Both Stephen Glass and Jayson Blair were given enormous book deals or movies out of their horrible acts. I can understand that the movie projected Glass in a negative light, but he was given money and a chance to redeem himself after he lied to millions of people.


I cannot say why Stephen Glass or anyone else decided to fabricate their works in this field. Maybe it was for fame or money but we can only hope that the world will not look down upon the rest of us for their mistakes.


Leung, R. (2003, August 17). Stephen Glass: I Lied For Esteem. 60 Minutes: Steve  

Kroft's Exclusive Interview With Former Reporter. Retrieved January 28, 2010,

From http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/05/07/60minutes/



Society of Professional Journalists. (1996). Code of Ethics.                                                      http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp.

Christina Barkanic: Blog 3- Shattered Glass

 | | 0 TrackBacks

As we were watching Shattered Glass, I felt like my emotions were running high. I felt very anxious, nervous, disgusted even. At first I just thought that Stephen Glass was a typical "suck up" overachiever, but then I began to see that he was just putting on a façade. Not only was his friendly act fake, but so was his entire journalistic career at the New Republic. He lied in his stories, he lied to his editors, he lied to his co-workers, and he was lying to himself. 

I remember in High School the first time I told a big lie to my mom. I had received a bad grade on a Biology test and told my mom I got an A. Somehow she figured I was lying (she swears it was a "mother's intuition.") She emailed my Bio teacher, and discovered that I had gotten a D on the test. Meanwhile, the rest of that week, I felt on edge. Whenever my mom would come into my room or yell my name up the stairs, I felt like she was going to figure out I had lied to her. But a week or so after I lied to her, she asked me again what I received on the test. She was giving me another chance to come clean. I lied again. I was grounded for a very long time. 

Although at the time I despised my mom for catching me in my lie, I was also happy she did. I remember feeling almost relieved that I didn't have to keep that lie inside anymore. And I knew I wasn't going to lie to her again. I knew I didn't want to feel the way I felt after I lied, and I knew that my lie would catch up to me somewhere down the road. I learned that it was not worth it to lie. 

That is what surprises me with the Stephen Glass story. How could he go to sleep each night knowing that he had been lying and deceiving so many people time and time again?  In addition to the added stress that he created from lying so much, I also think that he created so much more work for himself. If he wanted a great story so badly, like he claims, it would be easier to just get out there and find one in my opinion (not to mention, he would have saved himself his career and dignity.) 


In the 60 Minutes clip we watched in class, Stephen Glass says, "My life was one very long process of lying and lying again, to figure out how to cover those other lies." To me, that is so sad. As displayed in the movie, he would even go to the extent of making up fake websites and voicemails to cover his tracks. 

"I would tell a story, and there would be fact A, which maybe was true. And then there would be fact B, which was sort of partially true and partially fabricated. And there would be fact C which was more fabricated and almost not true," says Glass in the 60 Minutes story.  But in my opinion, after all of the lies that he has told, I find it hard to believe that "fact A" is even true. In the interview, I found myself saying "yeah right" to every single word that came out of his mouth. And that is exactly what happens to people that lie. Once the truth comes out that they had been lying, it is so hard for people to ever trust you again. 

In an article written by Jack Shafter, he quotes Glass, who was speaking to a group of students at George Washington University, "There is almost nobody I didn't betray...I've led a pretty unethical life." In this speech to the students at the university, Glass also said that he was involved in therapy and he admitted that he was " a very broken person." However, even though he does realize his mistakes, he betrayed and lied to so many people. I guess there are some things that an apology can't ever fix, and I think Stephen Glass's lies fall into that category. 

Leung, Rebecca. "Stephen Glass: I Lied For Esteem." 60 Minutes: Steve Kroft's Exclusive Interview with Former Reporter. 17 Aug. 2003. CBSNews.com. 2 Feb 2010. <http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/05/07/60minutes/main552819.shtml>. 

Shafer, Jack. "Half a Glass: The incomplete contribution of serial liar Stephen Glass." Slate Magazine. 07 Nov 2003. Slate.com.  2 Feb 2010. <http://www.slate.com/id/2091015/>

Danielle Einhorn: Blog 3- Shattered Glass

 | | 0 TrackBacks

After watching Shattered Glass, I couldn't help but to feel uneasy and even a bit sick. It is beyond me how someone could lie to the public not only once, but multiple times over. I find it inhumane and incomprehensible how writer Stephen Glass was able to deceive so many. In my opinion the most prominent ethical issue (as there were so many) was trust. His readers and colleagues alike trusted that what he was reporting was true--every detail and every quote--and it is the public's right to trust what the writer is reporting is true. Glass had clearly abused, damaging not only his image, but the entire magazine's as well.

It is quite evident as to why Glass committed fraud--to sell his stories. And he did just that, so he had no incentive to start telling the truth. He was becoming a big hit in the world of journalism and was writing for a variety of well-known magazines. While searching the articles that were deemed partially or completely fabricated, it became apparent that the later articles contained more false information. Again, because it was as if he was being rewarded for slander, he only had reason to keep going.

Besides the obvious, though, I was reading a very extensive article in Vanity Fair written by Buzz Bissinger that briefly detailed Glass's upbringing. It appears as though he grew up in an environment that was constantly pushing its students to achieve extraordinary things (especially theatrically) in addition to his own brother greatly excelling. According to the article, "pleasing his parents and bettering their expectations with even more prodigious attainments was essential to him." Thus, Glass's desire to always be the best and impress was most likely another contributing factor.

I found another interesting article that was worthwhile noting, especially because I so strongly agreed with it. The piece was written by Jack Shafer entitled Half a Glass: The incomplete contrition of serial liar Stephen Glass (it was as harsh as the title sounds). It touched upon many topics, but his strongest argument dealt with redemption. He felt that in no way had Glass redeemed himself for the crime he committed and even made it worse by cashing in on his wrongdoing by publishing the book The Fabulist. Shafer, as a journalist himself, offered a "6-Step Program" to show that Glass is truly remorseful--from returning the money made from book sales to staying away from practicing law (since he himself broke so many).

I have to admit, I share the same feeling of pressure to perform as well or better than a sibling and the need to impress my parents. With a brother who received a near perfect score on the SAT's with little-to-no tutoring, I always felt I needed to work extra hard to grab the attention of my parents. However, I could only feel satisfied with my results if I knew that I had done it with integrity and not cheated my way to success. Therefore, my recommendation to anyone in this position is simply do the best to your capabilities because only dishonesty is a failure.

I cannot say that Stephen Glass's story has taught me any lessons, mostly because I am already aware that lying is immoral. Additionally, I could never envision myself deceiving so many people just to reach the top. However, I do feel that the message of his story should continue to be shared just as a reminder how one person's bad choices can cost them their reputation in the work field and just in general. I would hope that no one will ever repeat his mistakes again.

I live by the old adage that you only have one life to live, so make it count. Why waste your one and only chance on a bunch of lies?



Bissinger, Buzz. (1998, September). Shattered Glass. Vanity Fair, 1-7.

Shafer, Jack. (2003, November 7). Half a Glass: The incomplete contrition of serial liar Stephen Glass. Slate.com. Retrieved from http://www.slate.com

Dave Walkovic: Blog 3- Shattered Glass

 | | 0 TrackBacks

     Stephen Glass had a tremendous job as a writer for the New Republic, but threw it all away when he fabricated stories and lied to his editors.  It is one thing that Glass fabricated his stories, which is obviously horribly wrong in itself, but the fact that he lied to his co-workers makes me sick.  Glass committed two unforgivable journalism sins, fabricating stories and lying to his editors; he should never be allowed to write for anyone ever again.

     There are many reasons why Glass would have fabricated a majority of his stories, but none of them are truly good excuses.  As a journalist for a highly regarded magazine, there was a lot of pressure put on Glass to write good articles for the upcoming issue.  The magazine is published twice a month, so he only had about two weeks to come up with an interesting article, or he could lose his job.

      Glass might have thought that he had no choice but to fabricate stories at the time.  He worked full-time at the paper, while going to school at night.  He really did not have a lot of free time to find a good story, write the article, and then constantly edit and rewrite the story.  He may not have had time to do this, but it was his job and obligation to do so.

     After the Glass scandal became public news, there were many reactions from journalists all across the country.  Lori Robertson, a writer for American Journalism Review, wrote in her article entitled "Shattered Glass at the New Republic" that Glass' fabrications affect more than just his own work.  This is "another blow to journalism - and to the star-crossed TNR," according to Robertson.

     I have never been in Glass', situation where I was working full-time and going to school, but I can imagine how much time he must have been doing work a day, either for The New Republic or for school.  He was most likely on minimal sleep as well.  Regardless, there is no excuse for what he did. Mastering the art of time management is a key component in life. If Glass had the time to make up fake stories and fake characters, he probably had the time to find a good story with good characters that were real.

     The Stephen Glass story has taught me many things about journalism. Previously, I did not know how common fabrication and plagiarism in journalism was in the "real world." Glass was not the only one who made up stories. Jayson Blair, Jack Kelley, and others mislead readers just as bad as Glass did.

     The Glass case has taught me the consequences of fabricating and plagiarizing stories.  Obviously if you get caught, your career is most likely over, but it hurts you peers as well.  The New Republic suffered from the Glass scandal and if I were in Glass' shoes it would be hard for me to sleep at night knowing that I hurt so many of my friends and co-workers.      



Leung, Rebecca. "Stephen Glass: I Lied For Esteem." CBS News N.p., 17 Apr. 2003. Web. 1 Feb. 2010. <http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/05/07/60minutes/main552819.shtml>.

Robertson, Lori. "Shattered Glass at The New Republic." American Journalism Review June 1998. Web. 1 Feb. 2010. <http://www.ajr.org/Article.asp?id=1838>.

Laura Nichols: Blog 3 - Lies and Deception

 | | 0 TrackBacks

Stephen Glass crossed two major ethical boundaries when he published stories that were either partially or wholly fabricated. He lied, and then lied again to cover his lies while he continued to "work." Though in whatever it was he believed himself to be doing, Stephen Glass was compromising any chance at being fully trusted ever again in a profession that values trust above most else, despite how many times a piece is fact-checked.

Many scenes in the movie revealed hints about what may have driven Glass to deceive his editors, colleagues and readers. He was the youngest at The New Republic, and he may have felt pressure to prove his place as an associate editor at such a young age.

He was also taking law classes at Georgetown University in an effort to assuage his parents' wish he be something other than a journalist. He furthered his over-extended workload by freelancing for many other publications -- though in the film, he never reveals this to his colleagues.

Each time Harper's or Rolling Stone called, Glass would say he "wasn't talking to them," yet The Pennsylvania Gazette points out otherwise, along with the claims I have made.

Glass was overworking himself under piles of pressure, the Gazette says, but also points out that Glass may have premeditated every move of his manipulations.

"He had a gift for mind games, at Highland Park High School in suburban Chicago, he had participated in a theatrical program known as 'Adventures of the Mind,' designed to encourage fast, inventive thinking."

The Gazette also offers reasons that he may have just been a cold-blooded liar, playing his strengths to survive in a highly competitive atmosphere.

Whatever the reason may be, Glass ruined the talent he did have by lying and breaking trust that in his former industry, was so fragile.

Don Keelan, a columnist for the Bennington Banner called Glass' abuse of the trust he had been taught to uphold "unfortunate," which I can certainly agree with.

Something else that struck me was Glass' admission of his lies in a 60 Minutes interview.

"I remember thinking, 'If I just had the exact quote that I wanted to make it work, it would be perfect.' And I said to myself what I said every time these stories ran, 'You must stop. You must stop.' But I didn't," Glass told Steve Kroft in the interview. He was talking about how he started what would be his downfall when he thought a piece needed to be "spruced up."

Eventually, it turned into all lies.

Personally, I cannot understand how he found this at all acceptable. Glass was the editor of the newspaper at Penn. He knew the rules. Just because an early opportunity could be called "boring," it is no excuse to deceive readers who turn to that publication for a specific reason.

If I had not already known how wrong these practices were, I certainly do now. I think despite how obvious it may seem it is imperative to discuss these issues because there may be someone who will find them acceptable -- until they realize the repercussions.

Hughes, Samuel. "Through a Glass Darkly." The Pennsylvania Gazette. The University of Pennsylvania. Oct. 28 1998. Feb 2 2010. http://www.upenn.edu/gazette/1198/hughes.html.

Keelan, Don. "A Columnist's Role." The Bennington Banner. Benningtonbanner.com. Jan. 29 2010. Feb 2 2010. http://www.benningtonbanner.com/opinion/ci_14298487.

Leung, Rebecca. "Stephen Glass: I Lied For Esteem,

60 Minutes: Steve Kroft's Exclusive Interview with Former Reporter." CBSNews.com. Aug. 17 2003. Feb. 2 2010. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/05/07/60minutes/main552819.shtml.

Luca Viglione: Blog 3 - Shattered Glass

 | | 0 TrackBacks
Part 1
The movies Shattered Glass, aside from telling Stephen Glass's story, showed what can and will happen to a journalist who lies and cheats. The fact that Glass fabricated, partially or entirely, 27 of his 41 articles is shocking. I cannot believe he got as far as he did before he was caught.

I was taught that lying and cheating will not be tolerated. This has been ingrained into my core of values as far back as my memory allows me to remember. Someone such as Glass cannot be trusted; he has proven himself to be a disgrace and black-mark on journalism.

Part 2
In Glass's interview, he said that he did it because he wanted to have that "perfect story." His obsession with gaining approval from his peers and superiors proved to be counterproductive to say the least. Instead of gaining credibility and recognition for his stories and excellent reporting, he is known as a fraud and someone who simply cannot be trusted.

Glass abused the system. According to John Morton, "Credibility is the basic reason for a newspaper's business success." In this case; however, we are talking about a magazine. Still, what Glass did not only destroyed his own reputation, but he severely reduced the reputations of his fellow colleagues and the magazine they wrote for. Neglecting to be an ethical person put The New Republic's existence at stake.

According to Greg Marx, "Journalists do bear some responsibility for the consequences of the stories they publish. Freedom of the press comes with obligations." Glass willfully ignored these obligations so that his stories would be more appealing to readers. The problem is he was creating a false reality and deceiving readers.

I always find that making an ethical decision is not easy. Taking shortcuts, as Glass did, are very tempting. However, the reward of calling the piece my own is much more rewarding than having a few extra people read my story.

Part 3
Even before watching the movie, I knew that fabrication was not something practiced in modern journalism. I knew that it was wrong. The movie brought into light why it's such a big issue in journalism. Being honest is always the best option. The consequences of deceit far outweigh any of its potential benefits.

Fabrication and plagiarism are still important issues to discuss today. Other incidents, such as the Jayson Blair case, happened after Stephen Glass's situation. People are always going to be willing to risk everything just to write one great story or make a deadline. Journalists have to always check themselves and their colleagues to make sure that they are practicing ethical journalism.

Part 4

Marx, Greg. (2009). Darts & Laurels. Columbia Journalism Review, 48(3), 13.


Morton, John. (2009). Staying Neutral. American Journalism Review, 31(5), 60.


Search This Blog

Full Text  Tag

Recent Assets

  • moral_devt2.jpg
  • carter.jpg
  • MichaelLaughlin_01.jpg
  • BlackChildrenareanEndageredSpecies.jpg
  • Glass, Stephen.jpg

Tag Cloud