This week, the Cape Cod Times issued an apology to its readers for the work of one of its reporters, Karen Jeffrey.
“There is an implied contract between a newspaper and its readers. The paper prints the truth. Readers believe that it’s true,” the paper’s publisher Peter Meyer and Editor Paul Pronovost wrote. “… so it is with heavy heart that we tell you the Cape Cod Times has broken that trust. An internal review has found that one of our reporters wrote dozens of stories that included one or more sources who do not exist.”
The paper did an internal audit of some of the stories written by Jeffrey, who had been with (“She no longer works for the Cape Cod Times,” her former employers wrote) since 1981. It was unable to verify identities for 69 people in 34 stories dating back to 1998, when it began keeping electronic versions of its stories.