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This Just In: The News Is Made Up (Sometimes)

I'd like to thank Ryerson student of journalism drop-out Kate Jackson (not her real name) for reminding us that the news isn't always "empirical truth" in her recent article, "Confessions of a Teenage Fabulist" for Maisonneuve. If it wasn't for her insightful article on the machinations of deception I would have never guessed that journalists sometimes flub, that the news is sometimes fabricated and that college students sometimes cheat and plagiarize their way through school, and even - gasp! - get away with it!

As a current student with a straight A average in academic courses, which I work my tail off for, I have no sympathy for Kate Jackson's journey into disillusionment, when the bubble bust and the fourth estate lost the "aura of authority" because she had gotten away with drinking through school and making it up on the fly. Somehow Jackson's assertion that she dropped out on "principle" rings a little hollow for me.

I'd like to think that those who cheat eventually get caught, but I've known many to purloin for themselves long and successful careers. Miss Jackson appears to be another who has escaped retribution unscathed. By remaining anonymous, Jackson exposes Ryerson to shoulder the burden of responsibility for her fakery. And all honest Ryerson journalism grads will now have to defend their honour in lieu of Miss Jackson's soul-bearing confession.

One point seems to be lost on Miss Jackson: just because deception is easy to get away, doesn't mean it is unavoidable if you are willing.

(photo credit: Christopher Woo)


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