Special Investigations - iMediaEthics

iMediaEthics publishes international media ethics news stories and investigations into journalism ethics lapses.


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Kevin Deutsch, Crime Reporter's Missing Sources

10 Articles

After the New York Times couldn’t verify the existence of two sources in an article by crime reporter Kevin Deutsch, iMediaEthics was on the case and found sources were missing in his reporting for other news outlets. Now, Newsday, the New York Daily News and Newsweek are all reviewing years of his reporting.

Failures in Suicide Reporting

3 Articles

In addition to criticizing inappropriate, sensational news stories on suicides, iMediaEthics has investigated and reported on best practices for covering suicide.

Investigating Reporting on Egypt/Al Jazeera

8 Articles

iMediaEthics travels to Egypt for its reporting about the international media’s coverage of Egypt, including questionable reports from the New York Times and the Guardian. This series includes being first to break the story in October 2014 about what caused Al Jazeera journalists to be jailed, which the Times and other international media only began reporting in May 2015.

Columbia Journalism Review & Lies

3 Articles

Columbia Journalism Review was sued for libel and invasion of privacy after iMediaEthics contacted the Michigan woman, “Marcy,” whose story was told in a 1967 Newsweek story and again in Columbia Journalism Review in 2012. iMediaethics discovered numerous problems with the CJR report.

Jared Diamond’s Factual Collapse

19 Articles

When the New Yorker failed to fact check Jared Diamond’s tall tales about Papua New Guinea, iMediaEthics’ discovery led to the New Yorker and Jared Diamond to be sued for libel by two tribesmen who were falsely accused of violent crimes. This series of critical reports includes many anthropology experts weighing in.

Examiner.com Fact Check Fails

4 Articles

Following iMediaEthics’ inquiries about errors in Examiner.com stories, Examiner.com unpublished and fired an Examiner.com writer. Further investigation found other fact check fails at Examiner.com, which ended up shuttering in 2016.

Monster Pig

10 Articles

Media outlets, CNN, NBC, AP–you name it–were fooled by what iMediaEthics discovered was a viral marketing hoax that used a boy and the killing of a farm’s pet pig to promote a canned hunting operation.

Mrs. Bhutto’s Murder

4 Articles

MediaEthics’ series into the media coverage of the 2007 assassination of Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto uncovered a troubling double standard in photojournalism. This award-winning investigation features an exclusive interview with the man who became the news coverage face of a grief torn Pakistan following this terrorist attack. iMediaEthics found the man who was on the scene for hours but remained unnamed by international media.

Julian Assange NOT Charged

2 Articles

Julian Assange complained to iMediaEthics that many major news outlets falsely reported that he was charged with sex crimes. In fact, he has only been accused. iMediaEthics’ investigation led to corrections.

SPJ’s Deadline Club

1 Article

This 2012 investigation took a close look at the Society of Professional Journalists’ New York chapter’s annual scholarship and awards contest, discovering that the chapter’s foundation was delinquent in tax filings. The SPJ launched a review not only of the New York the club & foundation, as a result of iMediaEthics investigation, but sought to get all the clubs nationwide to comply with tax rules. In addition, the club and foundation, which spent more than 70 cents per dollar on expenses for its swank annual awards and scholarship dinner, increased the number and the amounts for scholarships since this report.

Fire Doll

1 Article

iMediaethics’ investigation of a photo of a pristine doll lying in a black ash-filled fire scene led to the discovery that the photojournalist entered a private home property without permission. Evidence indicated the photo was staged.

Pill Mill Conflict of Interest

3 Articles

In 2010, Ron Sylvester, the Wichita Eagle’s main reporter covering the criminal trial of now-convicted pill mill doctor Dr. Stephen Schneider didn’t tell readers in any of his reports that his wife’s law firm represented the doctor in civil matters.

Fred Thompson

4 Articles

Newsweek put a full-time reporter on actor Fred Thompson even before he declared his presidential candidacy. iMediaEthics’ investigation flagged the disproportionate coverage in comparison with legitimate candidates.

Pitbull Rapist

2 Articles

iMediaEthics investigated a mother’s unbelievable claim –believed by police at first –that a toddler boy was raped by a dog, instead of sexually assaulted by a human.

Pakistani Blasphemy Case

1 Article

International media falsely claimed in 2012 that Christians were fleeing their homes after the jailing of a girl for blasphemy. iMediaEthics went to the Pakistani village and debunked this false claim.

Police Blotters

5 Articles

How should news outlets report on police blotters and mugshots? Questions about the practice, information about news coverage and advice from experts are featured in this investigation.

The Atlantic wrong about AQ Khan

1 Article

A. Q. Khan, called the father of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb, broke a court ban to give iMediaEthics an exclusive interview responding to the Atlantic’s claims he took a “brazen act of illegality.” Khan said the Atlantic’s report by William Langewiesche was “totally rubbish.”

Time’s Aisha & the Taliban

1 Article

A Huffington Post blogger falsely claimed that Aisha, the teen girl whose nose was cut off by the Taliban and who was featured on Time’s front cover, lied about her story. After iMediaEthics’ investigation, the Huffington Post unpublished the story.

Howie Felterbush Hoax

1 Article

Numerous news outlets were duped by a prankster who gave them a lewd name in interviews. iMediaEthics investigated how the juvenile prank spread through the media.

TV Accused Wrong Man

1 Article

Seattle’s KIRO TV news identified the wrong taxi driver in reporting on an alleged sexual assault. iMediaEthics investigates the error & talks to the innocent man wrongly identified.