Jayson Blair

When Jayson Blair got a job writing for The New York Times, he was a young man, straight out of college. He advanced quickly, despite frequent complaints about the quality of his work, and became a full-time staff reporter in 2001. He was promoted to the national desk in 2002. But in April 2003, a reporter for the San Antonio Express-News notified the Times about suspicious similarities between a story Blair had just written and one she had written a week earlier.

The Times investigated and concluded that not only had Blair plagiarized from the Express-News reporter, but that his entire career at the Times had been a "long trail of deception." They found numerous instances in which Blair either copied from other reporters or included fictitious details in his articles.

Faced with these findings, Blair resigned on May 2, 2003. On May 11, 2003 the Times published a front-page article detailing Blair's fabrications. The article referred to the scandal as "a low point in the 152-year history of the newspaper."

Following his resignation, Blair returned to college to complete his degree. (It turned out he had lied to the Times about having graduated.) A year later he published a memoir about the scandal, Burning Down My Masters' House: My Life at the New York Times.


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