Dotcom Journalists


Case studies in new ethical challenges in online journalism

Blurring journalism with marketing

By Joy Bacon, Dotcom Journalists

David Spett is a student at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. On Feb. 11, 2008, he published an opinions column in the forum section of the In the article, he accused the dean of Medill, John Lavine, of fabricating three anonymous quotes in two different columns in a 2007 issue of the school’s alumni magazine. Spett said he was suspicious of the quotes because they used language he felt was not common for his generation. He also felt the nature of the quotes did not require the use of an anonymous source. The quotes were all attributed to students, and had to do with that student’s liking of particular courses offered in the Medill school.

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