Scranton to Screen Documentary on 2003 New York Times Plagiarism Scandal

Nov 14, 2014

The University of Scranton will show a documentary about New York Times journalist Jayson Blair, who was exposed in 2003 for plagiarizing the work of others and fabricating details in his own reporting on Friday, Nov. 21. The University and the Society of Professional Journalists’ Keystone Pro Chapter are hosting the screening of “A Fragile Trust” at 7 p.m. in the Loyola Science Center’s PNC Auditorium. The presentation of the documentary is free and open to the public.

Produced, directed and written by Samantha Grant, “A Fragile Trust” details the fall of Blair and the blemish on The New York Times, which had won a record seven Pulitzer Prizes in 2002 for its coverage of 9/11. Blair’s exclusive interview for the 2014 documentary was the first time he had spoken about his actions since 2003.

In addition to being a character-driven narrative about an important chapter in the history of journalism, “A Fragile Trust” is also a story about power, ethics, accountability and race. The daily operations of the Times newsroom became a public spectacle, and minority journalists felt a backlash because of the “flagrant lies” of Blair, an African-American. The scandal resulted in new management at the Times, system-wide changes in how all newsrooms operate and a suicide attempt by Blair.

The screening of “A Fragile Trust” is supported through a grant from the Region 1 Society of Professional Journalists.

For more information, contact Kimberly Pavlick, Ph.D., assistant professor of communication at the University, at 570-941-6333 or; or Pat Trotsky, president of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Keystone Pro Chapter, at

Back to Top