15 Apr 2005 Maybe the Water Wasn’t So Red
Another embarassment for the mainstream media, says Reuters:
A Boston Globe freelance writer fabricated large chunks of a story published this week, the newspaper said on Friday in the latest incident to embarrass the U.S. media.The Globe, which is owned by The New York Times Co., said it stopped using writer Barbara Stewart because of a story that ran on Wednesday about a seasonal hunt for baby seals off Newfoundland — a hunt, it turns out, had not taken place.
The story datelined Halifax, Nova Scotia described in graphic detail how the seal hunt began on Tuesday, with water turning red as hunters on some 300 boats shot harp seal cubs “by the hundreds.”
The problem, however, was that the hunt did not begin on Tuesday; it was delayed by bad weather…
…Canadian Fisheries Minister Geoff Regan said his officials had called the paper to point out the error.
“We’ve been trying to get the facts out about the seal harvest, the fact that the herd is very healthy … that in 98 percent of cases it (the hunt) is done in a humane way,” he told Reuters in a telephone interview.
Officials with the newspaper were not immediately available for further comment.
U.S. media organizations have been hit with a series of high-profile cases involving plagiarism or fabrication.
In 2003, The New York Times’ top two editors, Howell Raines and Gerald Boyd, left the paper after it was disclosed that reporter Jayson Blair had fabricated and plagiarized material.