In a statement published May 26, freelance journalist Joseph Mayton, who is based in California, denies fabricating interviews for articles he wrote for The Guardian. The Guardian said Thursday that it has unpublished 13 of his stories after finding fabrication.
“When Mayton was unable to provide convincing evidence that the interviews in question in the February article had taken place, we hired an independent fact-checker to investigate all of his prior work, which comprised of 37 single-byline articles published between 2015 and 2016, seven shared byline stories from the same period, and 20 opinion pieces written from 2009 to 2015,” the Guardian said.
Mayton alleged the Guardian lied in its statement saying he fabricated.
“These accusations are incorrect and I have provided evidence showing that many sources had in fact spoken with me and either did not remember or refused to be truthful. Granted many of these sources had been spoken with months or years in the past.”
Mayton said he lost a lot of his notes that would have supported his stories.
“A number of interviews I conducted occurred in public at protests or on the street. My notes are gone as I did not keep them or they have been lost, which sadly, included the interviews and contact information. Obviously, that was my mistake and my responsibility. If the Guardian had asked for those earlier or requested more information when articles went live (or before), I could have provided it easily, as I have always worked with editors and any request, including contact information and sources’ full names as they were given to me.”
Mayton said, “The claim that I fabricated stories is wrong,” that he provided evidence of his stories, and that “freelancers are sometimes expendable.” He went on to “admit that I did not do a solid job of keeping records” but that he is “confident that I never ‘fabricated.'”
Mayton’s statement is here.