Date Presented

Spring 5-1-2006

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Communication Studies

First Advisor

Michael Robinson

Second Advisor

Katherine Gray

Third Advisor

Cheryl Jorgensen-Earp


Fraud is a growing concern in the news business, especially in recent years where numerous journalism scandals rock its foundation. This paper examines the most prominent cases: Stephen Glass, the reporter for The New Republic newsmagazine who completely or partially fabricated 27 stories in the late ‘90s; Jayson Blair, the New York Times reporter who was found to have plagiarized or made up his supposedly on-thescene reporting in 2003; and Janet Cooke, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1981 for her Washington Post story about a child heroin addict who, in actuality, did not exist. This paper will examine flaws in fact-checking and the excessive amount of trust that led all of these prominent journalism institutions to let itself and its readers be fooled by fraudulent reporters. It will also determine the causes of these notable deceptions have any common features.