It has happened again. A freelancer for Wired News, an online publication affiliated with Wired Magazine, has has quotes from dozens of people that can not be confirmed. Michelle Delio was a frequent contributor to the service, has had all of her stories appended to recognize the fact. Editor and Publisher reports that Technology Review Magazine has retracted 2 articles already by Delio and has found significant problems with other stories.
Wired News has put out a story asking for anyone quoted in these stories to step forward. The company is going the extra mile to maintain their credibility and this is to be commended. But Delio is acting as if it is a witch hunt and she is being attacked.
Delio responded by email to Wired News “I don’t understand why my credibility and career is now hanging solely on finding minor sources that contributed color quotes to stories I filed months and years ago,” she wrote. Delio said that among hundreds of articles she wrote for the organization, there “isn’t one story that contains fabricated news.”
Let me tell Ms Delio why this is important. If the stories could stand on the facts that she presented on their own, she would not need to fabricate quotes. Instead, she had weak stories that needed that extra pop. Instead of doing the legwork necessary to find them, she went the easy route, she made it up. So now there is this surprised writer out there that is confused and scared because nobody trusts her.
Well, Ms Delio, you had our trust and abused it. Is that blunt enough for you. People read your material and made decisions on it. They invested their hard earned money on your advice. They are now questioning their decisions because they do not know if they made the right decision.
And that is wrong. You forget in the newsroom it is all theory but in the real world it is dinner on the table and a roof over someone’s head. If Wired News does not throw the book at you, then why should their readers trust them.
It is very simple in those terms.