Journalists cannot just take statements at face value without verifying them

[[{“fid”:”6202″,”view_mode”:”default”,”fields”:{“format”:”default”,”field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]”:””,”field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]”:””},”type”:”media”,”attributes”:{“height”:444,”width”:361,”style”:”width: 75px; height: 92px; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px; float: left;”,”class”:”media-element file-default”},”link_text”:null}]]By Sylvia Stead for the Globe and Mail

A profile story which initially described a man as a chiropractor running a school about osteopathy was changed this week to make two significant corrections.

The story on the business education hub was part of a series about how people use their MBA. The reporter searched online for MBA and chiropractor, found Shahin Pourgol of Toronto and decided to write a profile. She then went to his school and wrote about it.

But a second Google search of his name minus the MBA reference shows (on the first page) a link to a disciplinary decision by the College of Chiropractors. There was no reference to this decision initially in the story. The reporter told her editor that she did not see that article through her search.

The article also initially quoted Mr. Pourgol saying he received an MBA and PhD received online through the National University of Medical Sciences based in Madrid. The article initially did not mention a personal connection to the school. On his home page (the first link when I searched his name) at the top is a photo with the statement that he is the founder and president of the NUMSS (along with two other businesses/schools). There is a link to NUMSS: the National University of Medical Sciences based in Madrid.

That personal link to the school and the reference to the College of Chiropractors have now been included in the updated article.

Continue reading this story on the Globe and Mail website, where it was first published. 

Sylvia Stead is the Public Editor of the Globe and Mail.