IT WAS a slow Saturday, and so a middle-level editor thought nothing of working on a press release handed over by a senior editor and turning it into a readable news item. It appeared in the paper the next day, and that should have been that. But then the three government officials who were quoted in the piece complained to the newspaper’s editors, saying the writer of the press release had not interviewed them at all. They also said that they had not authorized the issuance of such a press release under their names. An internal investigation conducted by the paper’s management later revealed that a shadowy political PR person had been the source of the fictitious story. Apparently, the aim was to cast the winning bidder of a government contract in a bad light.
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