OLD Media Moves

Yale student paper says fired WSJ intern may have changed quotes

September 9, 2012

Posted by Chris Roush

An investigation by the Yale Daily News has discovered that former Wall Street Journal intern Liane Membis, who was fired this summer from the business newspaper for making up sources, may have changed quotes in stories while an undergraduate.

Max de La Bruyère of the paper writes, “After fact-checking her articles and contacting as many of the sources with whom she talked as possible, we have found no evidence of any fabrication. We have, however, found three instances in which Membis may have altered direct quotations from her sources. Although we have only been able to confirm one such instance, we have added editor’s notes to all articles that have been called into question, and cut the direct quotes in question from those articles. Finally, we have identified and corrected a number of small factual errors in Membis’ work. Membis did not respond to any of the News’ requests for comment or assistance throughout the investigation.

“Of the 41 total articles Membis wrote for the News, our investigation focused on the 35 that were reported pieces and not reviews or columns for our arts and living supplement. We first confirmed that every source she cited was real, and then contacted those sources to ask if they remembered any inconsistencies in their interviews with Membis or had noted any problems with the articles she wrote. Finally, we fact-checked her work.

“On three occasions, people Membis had quoted in her articles said their quotes did not sound right.”

Read more here.

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