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Skip to comments.Probe Can't Confirm Sources in Freelancer's Stories for 'Wired News'
Posted on 05/09/2005 6:05:12 PM PDT by wagglebee
SAN FRANCISCO An investigation into the sourcing and accuracy of news stories by a freelance journalist at a leading Internet news site concluded that the existence of dozens of people quoted in the articles could not be confirmed.
Wired News, which publishes some articles from Wired magazine, paid for the review of stories by one of its frequent contributors, Michelle Delio, 37, of New York City. It was expected to disclose results late Monday.
The review determined that dozens of people cited in articles by Delio primarily during the past 18 months could not be located, said one person familiar with the report's conclusions. This person said nearly all the people who were cited as sources and who could not be located had common names and occupations and were reported to be living in large metropolitan regions.
Wired News' editor in chief, Evan Hansen, confirmed those conclusions Monday. "I wouldn't dispute any of that," he said.
[Just several weeks ago, the website of Technology Review magazine retracted two articles by Delio, and an investigation found significant problems with more of Delio's pieces for the site. A third magazine, InfoWorld, removed some quotes from Delio stories after it could not confirm the existence of the sources.]
None of the information attributed to the disputed sources in the Wired News was considered significant. The disputed quotations typically supported details elsewhere in the articles.
Delio did not respond immediately Monday to a telephone call or e-mail from The Associated Press. She has said previously she never made up sources.
In a private e-mail Delio sent to Wired News executives last month and obtained by The Associated Press, she said she wanted to "present my side of this sad saga."
"I don't understand why my credibility and career is now hanging solely on finding minor sources that contributed color quotes to stories I filed months and years ago," she wrote. Delio said that among hundreds of articles she wrote for the organization, there "isn't one story that contains fabricated news."
Wired News and Wired Magazine are separately owned and do not share office space or staff, but Wired News publishes Wired Magazine's content online.
The review for Wired News was carried out by Adam Penenberg, a Wired News columnist who teaches journalism at New York University. Penenberg exposed fabricated articles in The New Republic by Stephen Glass in 1998 while Penenberg was a writer for Forbes.com. Glass was fired.
Technology Review's report on their investigation:
Didn't Delio use to work for the NYT as a technology writer or something?
From Wired website:
Michelle Delio, Correspondent
Michelle Delio has covered hacking and computer security, privacy, the internet and evolving technology for the past 12 years. Before becoming utterly obsessed with the things she can do with and to technology, she was the editor of Outlaw Biker magazine for three years, and for a decade prior was a professional palm and tarot card reader. She figures fast bikes and fortune telling were the perfect preparation for life as a tech reporter. As Arthur C. Clarke said: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" and, as Arthur C. Clarke didn't say, when you're online no one knows if you're an outlaw. Delio has been online since 1983 and so considers herself a cyber-crone at the ripe old age of 36. She lives and works in New York City.
Hmmm....a tarot reader...perhaps her sources aren't from this world.
How many people were online 22 years ago?
I'm sure this will affect the validity of her earth-shattering stories:
If she did fabricate these stories, my world view will change.
I was online by 1980.
And I was born in 1969.
Amazing. I graduated college in 1980, an my engineering friends were still doing the IBM punchcards.
"I see dead people... they give me news stories..."
I have long maintained that this is the RULE, not the exception, in journalism.
"The disputed quotations typically supported details elsewhere in the articles."
This is what fake attributed quotes are for, after all.
"Delio said that among hundreds of articles she wrote for the organization, there "isn't one story that contains fabricated news.""
That is the point, isn't it.