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You may not remember the name Jayson Blair, but he’s the black former New York Times writer who was fired for not only lying in his stories, but for writing stories that were complete fabrications. Blair also lifted his writings from a former Times writer, all so he could lay in bed instead of getting up and engaging in real reporting. Now it seems that an intern for the Wall Street Journal was prepared to walk in Blair’s footsteps. She was fired for making up quotes that forced the newspaper to retract one of its stories:
One aspiring journalist will have to find a new career path.
The Wall Street Journal recently fired a summer intern for using fake sources in a story.
Liane Membis was tasked with a seemingly routine story called titled “Bridging A Local Divide.” But when Membis couldn’t or wouldn’t find sources, she fabricated numerous names and quotes that editors could not verify.
Membis attributes quotes to people including Katrina Maple, 64; Saniqua Dimson, 17; Shaila Tompkins, 26; Carolyn Turner, 31; and Jonqueil Stevens, 40.
The Wall Street Journal released the following statement on the incident:
Note to Readers: ”Bridging a Local Divide,” published online on June 17, has been removed from the Journal’s web sites. Many of the names contained in the article about the re-opening of the 103rd Street Pedestrian Bridge in Manhattan were fabricated by reporting intern Liane Membis, and the quotes couldn’t be independently verified. Ms. Membis is no longer working at The Wall Street Journal.
Membis was with the WSJ for three weeks and had contributed to about five stories. One of the stories has ben removed entirely and quotes supplied by the intern have been removed from online versions of other stories. Her work has also appeared on CNN.com, the Huffington Post and in Ebony Magazine.
Membis is a Yale graduate with a B.A. in English and Ethnicity, Race & Migration.