A reporter dismissed by The Associated Press last month may have fabricated up to 45 sources and 12 organizations in 40 articles. The reporter was fired after the AP published an article on criminal justice statistics that quoted two people from the Institute of Crime and Punishment in Chicago. The institute does not exist, and the AP couldn’t find either of the people.
The reporter has claimed he was not given an opportunity to explain his situation, and said he has located some of those people the AP said do not exist. He declined to give the names and numbers of those he found, though.
Journalists already reside at the bottom of the professional totem pole in terms of reliability and trustworthiness, and this kind of scandal just feeds into the bad reputation.
Society needs to be able to trust the people from whom they are receiving information. Journalists have been lambasted for misquoting sources, not getting both sides of the story or not being objective since the beginning of time. These behaviors alone are a betrayal of the very things journalism should stand for