Neil deMause

When a star reporter is faking it: Here's why the Der Spiegel crisis is so disturbing for journalism

While everything about the story of Claas Relotius, the award-winning Der Spiegel journalist who turned out to have been faking everything from quotes to geographic details for years, should be alarming to anyone who cares about responsible journalism, possibly the most disturbing part comes near the end of the German magazine’s mea culpa about the affair:

As an editor and section head, your first reaction when receiving stories like this is to be pleased, not suspicious. You are more interested in evaluating the story based on criteria such as craftsmanship, dramaturgy and harmonious linguistic images than on whether it’s actually true.

This article originally appeared at

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The New York Times Went to Baltimore, and Only Found the Police Worth Talking to

For readers who turned to Tuesday’s New York Times site (4/28/15) for news of the ongoing Baltimore protests following the death in police custody of Freddie Gray, they found a terrifying tale of rioters throwing cinder blocks at firefighters trying to put out arson fires, as the city was beset by people with “no regard for life.”

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Media Continue to Perpetuate Myth that the Superbowl Brings in Big Bucks for Host City

With Super Bowl Sunday approaching, expect plenty of media reports on the projected economic windfall for host city Glendale, Arizona. Last year, when the NFL announced that its big game would provide a $600 million boost to the New York/New Jersey economy, that figure promptly became a fixture in news coverage of the event (CNN, 1/24/14Newsday, 1/22/14;, 5/21/14).

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No Class Warfare, Please: We’re Americans

The following was originally posted on Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting's website. Check out FAIR for national media criticism and analysis. 
In a year that has featured increased coverage of rising economic inequality—helped along by President Barack Obama’s call to rebuild the economy from the “middle out,” and New York mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio’s campaign focus on a “tale of two cities”—one of the biggest flurries of attention came in late July, when four professors from Harvard and Berkeley released a study (NBER, 7/13) of economic mobility in the United States. Their finding: People hoping to lift themselves from the bottom of the income scale into the middle class or above face much longer odds in certain parts of the country, particularly the Deep South.

As a result, reported David Leonhardt in a front-page story in the New York Times (7/22/13):

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