Both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal came under ethical scrutiny in 2003 for editorial practices "unbecoming" of the journalism profession. In Wired Magazine's October issue, The New York Times earned a "snooping" award for requiring doctors to disclose employee medical history as a condition of employment.
The Wall Street Journal avoided answering questions after it accepted money to run editorials by the US Federal government urging support for an attack on Iraq in February. It is common practice to pay authors for an editorials, not other way round. But lack of management is to blame at The New York Times for two recent scandals.
Rick Bragg, 43, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author for The New York Times, resigned on May 28, around controversial practices involving freelance reporters.
While Rick Bragg used his byline on a story written by freelancers, he told the Associated Press (AP) that the atmosphere at the Times had become torturous. The New York Times says it should have attributed the story byline to Rick Bragg and the freelancer on the scene. But Rick Bragg told the AP it is common practice to leave freelancers out of print. It is impossible for a freelancer to get a byline at The New York Times, he said.
The freelancer, J. Wes Yoder, a recent college graduate wrote Rick Bragg's piece for free.
Jayson Blair, 27, resigned from The New York Times in April after the newspaper found fraud, plagiarism, and inaccuracies in 36 of 73 stories authored by Jayson Blair. Both incidents have The New York Times reviewing its editorial and hiring practices, and rethinking its use of freelancers.
According to Rick Bragg, he was intent on leaving The New York Times anyway, to fulfill two book contracts with Random House. Do you think he'll use the story J. Wes Yoder wrote for him?