NEW YORK, NY, Sept. 27 (DPI) – A New York Times article about the decline of college bars in the age of social media was found to feature fictitious sources – yet after amendments the story continued its “most-emailed” run with readers.
The article, titled “For College Students Social Media Tops the Bar Scene,” turned out to have sources who provided phoney names. The author, a freelancer named Courtney Rubin, quoted several college students, primarily at Cornell University, about their current bar-going habits.
To The Times’s credit, the online version of the article pointed out that a college blogger discovered several of the sources were not students enrolled at Cornell.
“An article on Thursday described the effect of social media use on the bar scene in several college towns, including the area around Cornell. After the article was published, questions were raised by the blog IvyGate about the identities of six Cornell students quoted in the article or shown in an accompanying photo.
None of the names provided by those students to a reporter and photographer for The Times — Michelle Guida, Vanessa Gilen, Tracy O’Hara, John Montana, David Lieberman and Ben Johnson — match listings in the Cornell student directory, and The Times has not subsequently been able to contact anyone by those names. The Times should have worked to verify the students’ identities independently before quoting or picturing them for the article.”
Readers didn’t seem to care — the article on Thursday afternoon remained the fourth-most emailed of all NYTimes.com links.