The Argus Leader fake news/intern firing story is taking on a further life of it’s own after a website pursued the story to identify the author of the 11 articles that the Argus Leader pulled after determining that some of the information in them might be questionable.
In the article, surprisingly, the reporter cast some of the blame back on the Argus staff, claiming “the assignment should have never been assigned” to her, “nor was it looked over or questioned by an editor before publishing.”
Really? (I’m not buying that excuse, either):
The Sioux Falls newspaper, which is owned by Gannett and part of the USA Today network, fired the intern reporter, Allie Knofczynski, but didn’t name her, after a local school principal cried foul, stating she was never interviewed for a May 31 story in which she was quoted. The Argus Leader published a June 1 note announcing a review into the reporter’s work and retraction of the May 31 article quoting the principal.
When iMediaEthics contacted Knofczynski to learn more, despite having blogged and tweeted about the incident, she claimed privacy and blocked us on Twitter.
iMediaEthics wrote to Myers to ask why the newspaper didn’t name the reporter in question, what the reporter’s position was, and what the review of the articles will include.
“If you could please leave me alone, I’d appreciate it,” she e-mailed. “My life and work does not concern you. If you must know, I talked with a secretary at the front desk but rushed through the assignment to keep up. However, the assignment should have never been assigned to me, nor was it looked over or questioned by an editor before publishing.” She added, “Just FYI, I have blocked and reported your tweets. I hope you can respect my privacy.”
Read that here. (Check out the link, as it’s an interesting story.)
The tweet they’re mentioning links to the blogpost in question…
There are many sides to every story.https://t.co/JeXe1WugOB
— Allie Knofczynski (@AKnofczynski) June 5, 2017
What were they citing when they mentioned she blogged about it? Knofczynski did express her thoughts about the environment she was working under (which we might assume was the Argus) on her own website:
And I was ready to do anything to make up for my mistake, by the way. Recant the article, write a public apology, do anything. Nothing could apparently solve this. Being fired is a “learning experience,” but how am I supposed to learn by getting kicked to the curb? If I’ve learned anything, it’s that I’m not cut out for hard-news journalism if it means navigating cut-throat political games and fast-paced perfection. That’s not me.
A different website, poynter.org, covering the Argus Leader action against the intern also noted..
Although Knofczynski is not listed on The Argus Leader’s staff page, a Twitter user by the name of Allie Knofczynski describes herself as a student at the University of South Dakota in the nearby town of Vermillion. According to her Twitter bio, she’s the opinion editor at The Volante, the student-run newspaper at the University of South Dakota.
Ally Krupinsky, the editor in chief of The Volante, declined to comment on Knofczynski’s status at the newspaper. Knofczynski is listed as the author of dozens of articles for The Volante, the last of which is dated May 1.
Was it a simple mistake that was blown all out of proportion? Should an Argus editor have questioned it before publication? Is the Argus a den of “cut-throat political games and fast-paced perfection'” as the author seems to claim?
What do you think?
Update… In case you’re curious, here’s a partial list of the “hard-news journalism” stories authored by this intern that are no longer available on their website:
Two local students competing at National Spelling Bee
Free pizza for life? It’s a revolutionary idea
Tote-ally Gorgeous Boutique closing next month
Walmart adding online grocery option in Sioux Falls
School plants tree to remember special education …
Highway signs to honor fallen patrolman
Pizza Patrol closing in eastern Sioux Falls
Carpenter Bar offers cozy setting, classic tastes.