What’s ethics got to do with it?

Jessica Darling

The School of Journalism and Mass Communication will present “A Fragile Trust: Plagiarism, Power and Jayson Blair at the New York Times” on Tuesday, March 10 at 6:30 p.m. in the Franklin Hall First Energy Auditorium as part of its “Media at the Movies” event. 

“Jayson Blair, formerly of the New York Times, was a young reporter who was in 2003 found to have been plagiarizing and fabricating most of his work,” said Jan Leach, associate professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Due to Jayson Blair’s actions, a huge investigation at the New York Times took place, Leach said. Blair left his position and both the editor and managing editor left their jobs because of the controversy surrounding it.

The documentary premiered at the Sheffield International Documentary Film Festival in 2013. 

After the movie, there will be a discussion panel whose topics will relate to issues regarding ethics — and plagiarism will be a crucial part of the conversation. The panel will also discuss issues of mental health. In the movie Blair is interviewed and claims he suffered from bipolar disorder at the time, Leach said. 

To help with this part of the discussion, Brian Welsh, Chief Medical Officer at Coleman Professional Services in Kent and mental health psychiatrist, will be on the discussion panel.

Leach said the discussion panel will also include Jim Crutchfield, former publisher of the Akron Beacon Journal and current member of the board of trustees of the Knight Foundation; Deborah Barnbaum, Chair of the Department of Philosophy and an ethicist; and Thor Wasbotten, Director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Doors will open at 6 p.m., and refreshments will be served. If interested in attending the event, please RSVP.

Contact Jessica Darling at [email protected].