Review finds fault with online reporter's stories

An investigation over the sourcing and accuracy of roughly 160 news stories by a freelance journalist at a leading internet news site concluded that the existence of more than 40 people quoted in the articles could not be confirmed.

Wired News, which publishes some articles from Wired magazine,

disclosed results late on Monday of its review into stories by one of its frequent contributors, Michelle Delio (37) of New York City.

The stories covered subjects that ranged from computer viruses to the September 2001 terrorist attacks.

The review determined that dozens of people cited in articles by Delio, primarily during the past 18 months, could not be located.

Nearly all the people who were cited as sources and who could not be located had common names and occupations and were reported to be living in large metropolitan regions.

Almost none of the information attributed to the disputed sources was considered significant. The disputed quotations typically supported details elsewhere in the articles.

Delio said om Monday the investigation “concluded that my stories did not contain fabricated news, that key information in all the stories checked out and that all primary sources were located”.

She said she regretted not keeping contact information for all her sources.

In a private e-mail Delio sent to Wired News executives last month and obtained by The Associated Press, she said she wanted to “present my side of this sad saga”.

“I don’t understand why my credibility and career is now hanging solely on finding minor sources that contributed colour quotes to stories I filed months and years ago,” she wrote.

Delio said that among hundreds of articles she wrote for the organisation, there

“isn’t one story that contains fabricated news”.

Wired News and Wired Magazine are separately owned and do not

share office space or staff, but Wired News publishes Wired Magazine‘s content online.

The review for Wired News was carried out by Adam Penenberg, a Wired News columnist who teaches journalism at New York University.

In 1998, while Penenberg was a writer for, he exposed fabricated articles by Stephen Glass in The New Republic. Glass was fired.
- Sapa-AP

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