Felch Off LA Times College Sex Abuse Beat

Mar 16, 2014
Education
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Felch is off LA Times college sexual abuse beat

The Los Angeles Times fired an investigative journalist last week, after disclosing errors in articles about sexual abuse accusations at Occidental College and revealing that the reporter had an inappropriate relationship with a source for one of those articles.

The journalist, Jason Felch, a Pulitzer Prize finalist for other coverage, reported in a front-page article last December that Occidental College had failed to disclose 27 sexual abuse accusations that had occurred in 2012. The newspaper’s claim was repeated in two subsequent articles.

Jason Felch

Jason Felch

The college approached the newspaper early this month to seek a correction, according to an editor’s note, which was published last Friday. Occidental representatives met with the paper’s editor, Davan Maharaj, and addressed each of the 27 accusations in a slide presentation, according to a person familiar with the meeting who spoke on the condition of anonymity to disclose confidential discussions. The paper concluded that disclosure had not been required for a variety of legitimate reasons, the editor’s note said.

Separately, the note said, Mr. Felch told editors “that he had engaged in an inappropriate relationship” with a source for the initial article. He was dismissed last Friday. The relationship, and the failure to disclose it, was “a professional lapse of the kind that no news organization can tolerate,” Mr. Maharaj said in the note. “Our credibility depends on our being a neutral, unbiased source of information — in appearance as well as in fact.”

Representatives for the college were surprised at the revelation of the relationship, the person familiar with the meeting said.

More at the NY Times…

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Ernest Greene
Ernest Greene
6 years ago

Felch? His name is really Felch? I swear, you can’t make this stuff up. No one would believe it.

Anthony Kennerson
6 years ago

“An inappropriate relationship”, ehhh?? You mean, he was banging his own source?? Yeah, that would warrant getting run.

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