Wired News tightens the ship after sourcing flap

Wired News is the latest in the series of beleaguered publications addressing plagiarism, improper attribution, and fabulism in their ranks.

Journalism prof and Wired News columnist Adam Penenberg (the original Stephen Glass whistle-blower) was asked to review stories by contributor Michelle Delio after MIT Tecnology Review Online and InfoWorld publications edited her work to address unconfirmed/unattributed quotes. After reviewing 160 recent articles (of the over 700 written by Delio), Penenberg found 24 stories with sources he couldn’t confirm, four wherein the quotes played a major role.

Delio stands by her reporting and Wired News isn’t retracting, but it is going to limit the use of anonymous sources (it will require “appropriate justification“) and freelancers will now be required to submit source contact information when they file.

A complete history of the Delio affair can be found at webzine-not-blog Gelf Magazine, who began investigating the question of Delio’s sourcing after the Technology Review retracted Delio’s pieces (they also shadowed Penenberg’s investigation).

According to AP, Delio sent her Wired News editors an email saying “I don’t understand why my credibility and career is now hanging solely on finding minor sources that contributed color quotes to stories I filed months and years ago,” she wrote.

Probe Can’t Confirm Sources in Freelancer’s Stories for ‘Wired News’[AP via E&P]
Wired News Releases Source Review [Wired News]

RELATED: Interview with Adam Penenberg [Gelf Magazine]