Wired says writer faked info

Fellow tech journalist Lawrence Casiraya shared this bit of news with me this morning. Wired also had its version of the story here. But just to quote what the magazine said:

Wired News has removed three articles from its website after an internal investigation failed to confirm the authenticity of a source used in the stories.

“Tribal Curse Haunts Launch Pad” (June 27, 2006), “NASA Boosts Heart-Monitoring Tech” (July 7, 2006) and “Don’t Flush It — Breathe It” (July 14, 2006), all by Philip Chien, relied in part on quotes and citations from Robert Ash, described in the first two stories as a “space historian” and in the last as an “aeronautical engineer and amateur space historian.”

Wired News is among my favorite magazines, next to Newsweek and Time Magazine. During its heydays, Wired is like the alternative press. But through owner changes, and years of trying to survive the onslaught of other more aggressive publications, Wired has changed.

This latest story, however, indicates that Wired is also struggling to revive its crediblity after finding out that some of its freelance writers were fabricating sources or quotes.

Upon reading this, I remember one film called Shattered Glass, a true story of young journalist Stephen Glass found to be fabricating most of his stories for “The New Republic.

The credibility of journalists these days are increasingly being put into question. Thus the rise of so-called citizen journalism. This recent development is another shot in the arm of journalism.

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Erwin Oliva

Putting a dent on the universe one day at a time