The Manti Te'o Story and its Impact on Journalism
Jan. 17, 2013
Yesterday's news about the hoax surrounding the alleged girlfriend of Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o surprised journalists and sports fans across the country. How could Te'o not know that girlfriend Lennay Kukua did not exist? Why did no journalist check Kukua's background and whether or not she actually died, particularly given the discrepancy in the reported date of her death? Was Te'o actually involved in the hoax, as Deadspin.com alleged in the original story that broke the news, or, as it was described by Notre Dame officials on Wednesday, was Te'o in fact a victim? These are all questions that will hopefully be answered in the near future.
In the meantime, this story poses a number of questions about journalism and social media. Medill faculty members Josh Meyer and Desi Hanford join Medill alum and Chicago Sun-Times reporter Mark Lazerus, who has been covering Manti Te'o and Notre Dame football.
About the panelists:
Desiree Hanford is Medill's Journalism Residency coordinator and also a lecturer, mainly teaching undergraduate courses that include the introductory reporting class and the business reporting class. She has also taught graduate business reporting courses in Medill's Chicago newsroom.
Mark Lazerus (BSJ01) is a Chicago Sun-Times reporter who covered Notre Dame football this past season and has been reporting on the Manti Te'o story since it broke on Wednesday. He also serves as the Chicago Blackhawks beat reporter for the paper.
Josh Meyer is the McCormick Lecturer in National Security Studies at Medill's Washington program, where he teaches graduate level journalism classes on covering conflicts, terrorism and national security. He is also director for education and outreach for the Medill National Security Journalism Initiative.