Skip to comments.Virginia Reporter Fired Over Fabrications
Posted on 05/28/2006 8:02:52 AM PDT by ncountylee
RICHMOND, Va. -- The Richmond Times-Dispatch said Saturday it fired a reporter for fabricating part of a story and has begun investigating his other work.
Paul Bradley, 51, who worked in the newspaper's northern Virginia bureau, was dismissed Friday, the newspaper reported.
The article, published May 17, was intended to gather reaction in Herndon to President Bush's speech on immigration.
Bradley's fabrications, the Times-Dispatch said, included an interview that did not occur with the director of a center for day laborers and the misrepresentation that he had visited the center by using a Herndon dateline.
Managing editor Louise C. Seals said the director of the center alerted the newspaper to the fabrications.
"What I did was wrong and an indefensible journalistic sin," Bradley said in a statement e-mailed to The Associated Press. "I cut corners to put some color into a story and I am now paying a dear price."
Bradley apologized to readers but said "the punishment far exceeds the crime."
A description in the story of 50 workers sitting at picnic tables waiting for work was taken from The Washington Post, the Richmond paper said.
In his statement, Bradley said the offending material amounted to two paragraphs in a 22-paragraph story. He also denied using Post material to describe the job center.
(Excerpt) Read more at chicagotribune.com ...
I say the latter. There are more of us watching, and coordinating info. Not that long ago, a guy in Northern Virginia would have been unlikely to see an article in a Richmond paper. Now, with the Internet, that isolation is gone.
No but caught and fired is news.
Tried finding it on the "Wayback Machine" but -- wouldn't you know -- the RTD has blocked archiving of its site.
do I really have to say it ???
To our readers
Saturday, May 27, 2006
A Times-Dispatch article published May 17 about the reaction in Herndon to President Bush's speech on immigration reported a fabricated interview and portrayed a scene at a job center there as though the reporter had visited it. He had not.
Northern Virginia bureau reporter Paul Bradley did not interview Bill Threlkeld, site director for Project Hope and Harmony, as reported in the article.
Bradley interviewed the other sources quoted in the story but did not go to the town that day, as the dateline led readers to believe.
A sentence in the story that described 50 workers sitting at picnic tables waiting for work was taken from a Washington Post story reporting on the town election this month. A job center for immigrants was a major issue in the election.
Also, the pavilion that the story described as protecting the workers from the elements has been planned but not built.
* snip * (Required Excerpt)
A little too broad of a brush there.......I was in local radio news both as reporter and anchor, and more often than not, particularly in smaller markets and especially in radio and TV, it is all about what the SALES department will get, not the reporters.
I remember at one station getting an irate phone call from a major advertiser about a story I ran. he told me he would pull all his advertising and get me fired if I ran the story again. In that case, thankfully the account exec was a former newsman himself and came to bat for me with the sales manager, who wanted me fired for airing the story, and general manager. The story was about how the advertiser had just been busted for fraud and I got it from the local police.
At another station, while I was getting chewed out by the local Fire Chief, an AP editor called screaming at me for the same reason as the Fire Chief, releasing the name of the victim of a fatal fire before officials. I didn't do it...the general manager/owner of the station had called it into AP and gave my name for the byline as I had been a reporter on scene...something he should have known better than to have done, not only because he had been in radio, including news, for more than 20 years, but he was a fire Chief himself in a nearby town and his company had also responded to it.
So, all I ask is that all local reporters, or even national ones, not get painted with the same broad brush. There are times when it is really not the fault of the reporter.
The Principals of Ethical Conduct from Gannett is excellent..........it's just a shame that most of their newspapers do NOT adhere to it.
Quite true. I guess the point I was poorly making was how shocked I was (and am) at the way the "talent" looks for the stuff that will get them on the air (hopefully with priority), get headlines, etc. With my ex-girlfriend and her co-producers/reporters, everything was about getting airtime. And these were possibly the least informed people in the world. Admission on my part: My girlfriend was a gorgeous state "scholarship" pageant winner (yes, that is the Miss America pageant) who probably couldn't name the last 4 presidents. She couldn't hold an intelligent conversation with any informed person on any subject, and she really didn't have any interest in doing so. But turn on the TV camera and she was an entirely different person, and she appeared as a well-informed person who understood everything. The camera (and crowds) loved her, but individuals who got to know her hated her. So what does this say about me????
That you've matured..............as she is your EX-girlfriend.
But your point regarding "talent" is very well taken. I have seen a definite shift in "ethics" over the past 20 years.
A timely case in point.
The media has/had been screaming about the blackout of them being able to get onto Dover Air Force Base when the remains of our fallen servicemen and women are brought home to US soil. One of the loudest in the area was one of the local daily newspapers.
What they failed to remember is the disgraceful behavior of their own reporters and photographers at that base following the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut. I know because that was when I was a reporter for the local radio station and I was there, more than once. Including once when the arrival of the plane was delayed and not only was I on assignment for my local station, but also for the network we were affiliated with.
My big chance for national exposure.....I never got it, because the network was unhappy that I heeded the request of the Military to leave the families be....they (network) wnated to know how the families felt about the delays and didn't care what the Military said about talking to the families.
That kind of thing bothered me to no end, and that is why I got out of that end of it 20 years ago. As did many of the folks in radio and TV I worked with back in the 80s.
Not archived, eh?
Too bad they never figured astute FReepers would be ahead of their game.
Liberal justification 101: It's only wrong when they're caught.
So, is the New York Times going to hire him straightaway or will he have to serve a period with CBS TV?
Criminal Number 18F
Thanks, that confirms my attempts to find the actual lie.
Looks like this dinofishwrap understands the power of historical research via our computers.
Robert, a VA democrat is about 300 mils to the right of a NY republican.
Move over, Jose. Paul needs a spot at that picnic table. Come to think of it, what possible marketable skill would a lying "journalist" have?
Consider the republican mayor of NYC, and the dem gov of VA. QED.
"The MSM thinks they are winning the propaganda war during this presidency. They may well be but at a tremendously huge cost to their credibility."
Very well said.
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