In a bid (how's that for journalese?) to get back into a journalistic mindset after my holiday, I've just watched a DVD of Shattered Glass, in which New Republic reporter Stephen Glass is painfully and gradually exposed as a liar who makes up contacts and stories. I've seen this film before but this time the manic Preppie playing Stephen Glass was almost too painful to watch. And the central question is never answered. Why didn't any of the deskloads of staff (this was the 1990s, so there were still staff) notice what was going on? So much for the layers of US-style fact checking and shots of journalists covering each others' copy with vindictive red pen. If the rival online news website could check out the "facts" that Glass supplied in his copy and discover they crumbled on investigation, why couldn't the editors at the New Republic?
Back to the PhD research.