A Fragile Trust: Plagiarism, Power, and Jayson Blair at The New York Times

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  • 2015 Arthur Rowse Award for Press Criticism, Broadcast, National Press Club
  • About the Film

    Jayson Blair

    Infamous serial plagiarist Jayson Blair unleashed a massive scandal that rocked The New York Times and the whole world of journalism. A Fragile Trust is both the story of this complicated character and how his case had broader implications of power, ethics, representation, race, and accountability in the mainstream media.

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  • Put Yourself in the Shoes of a Journalist

    Decisions on Deadline game graphic

    Can you get the facts right, make your deadline, and become a top-ranked reporter covering a breaking news story, all while navigating difficult ethical decisions? Play the fun and fast-paced browser and tablet-based role-playing journalism game Decisions on Deadline to find out.

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  • Filmmaker Samantha Grant on the Saga of Jayson Blair

    Filmmaker Samantha Grant

    Filmmaker-journalist Samantha Grant reveals what drew her to the story of Jayson Blair, who became one of the most infamous serial plagiarists in recent memory, and how her persistence paid off in finally getting Blair to agree to appear in her film.

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  • Talkback

    Close-up of newspaper correction statement.

    Have you ever borrowed from someone else’s work? Did it cross the line? Do you feel any empathy for Jayson Blair or think this was all of his own doing? What can modern media sources do to protect themselves and their work?

    Share your thoughts >>

For Educators

lesson plans

A Fragile Trust and Decisions on Deadline Lesson Plans

The two standards-aligned lesson plans encourage students to think critically about the daily changes faced by journalists and media makers, and how they react to the pressures they face in this fast paced and quickly changing field.

View and download (PDF, 6.6 MB)