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No Joke: Mass Times Plagiarizer Jayson Blair to Speak on Media Ethics

Blair will be the featured speaker at Washington and Lee University's 48th Journalism Ethics Institute. Journalism Ethics professor Edward Wasserman admitted the choice was "a departure for us."

This is not a parody: Disgraced serial fantasist (and former Times reporter) Jayson Blair will address the 48th Journalism Ethics Institute at Washington & Lee University tomorrow.

As recorded in a university press release reprinted by the Rock Bridge Weekly of Lexington, Va, Blair will be the featured speaker at Washington and Lee University's 48th Journalism Ethics Institute on November 6.

From the release:

Blair resigned from the Times after an investigation found that he had plagiarized and fabricated major portions of stories that he had written during four years with the Times. Some of the stories that he covered in this manner were such major news events as the D.C. sniper case and the rescue of POW Jessica Lynch.

"Inviting Jayson Blair to keynote this institute was definitely a departure for us," said Edward Wasserman, the Knight Professor of Journalism Ethics at W&L. "In the past, we've brought heroes to Lexington, people of great accomplishment and stature, such as Hodding Carter, Helen Thomas and Lowell Bergman, and people who stood up to pressure in the name of principled journalism, such as Matt Cooper and my W&L faculty colleague Toni Locy, both of whom faced jail time because they refused to give up the names of sources they had promised to protect.


Wasserman further explained: "My expectation is that he'll talk not just about his own susceptibilities, but about the pressures and temptations that might induce ambitious and talented young journalists elsewhere in the business to do the wrong thing."