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April 16, 1981 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1981-04-16

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Page 2-Thursday, April 16, 1981-The Michigan Daily
Pulitzer winner admits fraud

From AP and UPI
WASHINGTON - The Washington
Post announced yesterday that repor-
ter Janet Cooke had surrendered the
Pulitzer Prize and resigned from the
newspaper because the feature story
that won her journalism's highest honor
was a fabrication.
Executive Editor Benjamin Bradlee
advised the Pulitzer Prize board that
Cooke would not accept.
"SHE TOLD POST editors early this
morning that her story - about an 8-
year-old heroin addict - was in fact, a
composite; that the quotes attributed to
the child were, in fact, fabricated, and

that certain events described as
eyewitnesses did not, in fact, happen,"
Bradlee told the board.
He said he made the statement "with
great sadness and regret."
The $1,000 prize for feature writing
then was awarded to Teresa Carpenter
of the Village Voice. Richard Baker,
secretary of the prize board, said the
award was made after a telephone poll
of board members.
DONALD GRAHAM, publisher of the
Post, said Cooke acknowledged early
yesterday "that major parts of the
story were fabricated and that she did
not interview an 8-year-old heroin ad-
"In the morning, all of us collectively
will apologize in the paper to readers of
the Post," Graham said. The prize
was given Monday.
Graham said the newspaper was tip-
ped off to the problem when it received
two telephone calls saying Cooke had
not earned the college degrees that
were credited to her in the announ-
cement of the prize.
IT ALSO WAS learned Cooke's
professional background as reported to
Columbia University, which ad-
ministers the annual awards, did not

completely square with the facts.
In the Post story, Cooke told of wat-
ching the lover of the child's mother in-
ject heroin into the boy's arm. The
story was published at a time when an
influx of cheap, high quality heroin on
the streets of Washington had led to a
surge in use of the drug.. The story also
described the course of the boy's addic-
tion to drugs.
The story touched off a widespread
search by police and social workers for
the child and there was even brief talk
about subpoenaing the reporter for in-
formation. But the issue was dropped
after authorities said they could find no
trace of the youngster.
At a staff meeting around the city
desk, Bradlee told his ,colleagues, "It
breaks my heart to tell you what you
already know." He said that Cooke con-
ceded to him at 1:45 a.m. yesterday, af-
ter a lengthy conversation, that por-
tions of the story were fabricated.
"Previous to that, she had denied it,"
he said. Asked if she offered to resign,
Bradley said: "I remember telling her
she wasn't going to get fired, that she
was going to resign. If that's a
suggestion ..."
Cooke, 26, joined the Post in Decem-
ber 1979 after working for the Toledo

(Ohio) Blade. She could not be reached
for comment.
"We must accept the Washington
Post's wishes in this matter," said a
statement issued at Columbia Univer-
sity in New York, which awards the
Pulitzer Prizes. "The Post states it
cannot accept the prize and it is
therefore withdrawn."

... returns Pulitzer



Jobs and money lure
students to computer
science courses


4 p \ C7 c
A motion picture your
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Opens Friday A pril 17
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(Continued from Page 1)
ceeding 200 people, according to depar-
tment figures.
Enrollment in this particular course
has jumped from 140 students in 1976 to
today's figure of 400. In the last ten
years, the number of University
students majoring in this field has
doubled, Flanigan said.
"We get the feeling sometimes that
almost everyone in the University wan-
ts to take the programming courses,"
Flanigan added.
COMPUTER science is also popular
because programming courses provide
a break from the doldrums of lengthly
term papers, reading lists, and
studying in the library, Flanigan ex-
plained. For students not concentrating
in computer science, the courses allow
them to keep pace with the upsurge in
computerized data in research and
private industry fields, and also
provide students with an alternative job
market, Flanigan said.
"A lot of companies will hire people
with a bachelor's degree (in computer
science) and then offer a free master's
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program ,to them," he said. "It's a
basic economic supply and demand
situation, and the current trend will
Some students, however, say the
department's large classes are a
drawback and that the overcrowding
problem is due mainly to non-majors
taking the courses as a "back door fire
escape" for jobs. Students also said
they are concerned about the lack of
course variety and the shortage of
faculty members.
"THE LARGE enrollment is a
significant problem," notes LSA Senior
John Reinke.
Flanigan said the department is
having enormous difficulty coping with
the demand for courses. In addition to
hiring additional faculty members, he
said the department is testing a new
system this term where maximum
enrollment in course sections was
lowered to allow more students to get
on the wait lists. Wait-listed students
were then screened to give preference
to seniors and concentrators.
Attempts to enlarge the current
teaching staff of 10 instructors include
hiring two new professors for fall term,
Flanigan said. The department ideally
would like to add four more, he said.
Flanigan said the department is
having difficulty attracting qualified
individuals to teach because the com-
petition with private industry is very
steep. The administration has been
very supportive of the program's hiring
efforts, he said.
Meanwhile, University computer
programming facilities are adequate,
but not abundant, according to studen-
"It's a madhouse in there the night
before programs are due," said com-
puter science junior Sheri Silvernail.
A department spokesperson said that
new terminals are going to be added
next year.
Yesterday's Daily incorrectly at-
tributed a quote to Mathematics Prof.
M.S. Ramanujan. The last in a series of
quotations in the story entitled
"Tightening our belts" belongs to
Mathematics Prof. George Piranian,
not Ramanujan.
In last week's coverage of the Hop-
wood awards the Daily reported that
Major Essay winner Scott Ewing was
an LSA sophomore. Ewing is a fourth
year inteflex student.
Test Preparation
How do you prepare
for these important
Get the facts
no cost or obligation
S32466 Olde Franklin

Compiled from Associated Press and
United Press international reports
China gets Coke
PEKING-With a Coke, a smile, and the crackle of fireworks, the
American soft drink company yesterday opened its first bottling plant in
China since 1949.
"It's okay," pronounced one Chinese guest sipping Coke gingerly from a
red paper cup.
Despite the potential market of 1 billion people in China, the 48 million bot-
tles the plant will produce annually will initially be sold almost exclusively
to foreigners.
At more than 66 cents per bottle, few Chinese can afford it. At present,
Coca-Cola has to be bought in foreign exchange certificates-available only
to foreigners.
Reagan permits Joe Louis'
Arlington cemetery burial
WASHINGTON-President Reagan has waived eligibility requirements to
permit Joe Louis, who held the world heavyweight boxing championship
longer than anyone in history, to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery,
it was learned yesterday.
An administration official said that Reagan, who knew Louis personally,
directed that an exception be made to permit the former boxing champion to
be buried in the military cemetery in Arlington.
The official said Louis, who died of a heart attack Sunday at the age of 66,
served in the Army during World War II and fought exhibitions for ser-
vicemen. He will be the 39th exception to the eligibility criteria for burial in
Lansing passes two bids
LANSING-A battered and bruised agriculture budget containing the
$800,000 Pontiac Silverdome subsidy and the state's highly-touted meat in-
spection program won final legislative approval yesterday.
The measure retains the annual stadium subsidy, which is funded through
race track receipts.
But lawmakers agreed to phase out the meat inspection program over
three years. Department officials conceded recently that federal inspectors
can do the same job of enforcing Michigan standards, which ban lips, snouts,
and other matter from hot dogs.
Salvadoran killings clueless
SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador-Authorities said yesterday they had no
clues to the decapitation of four men and a woman whose heads were found
on the stairway of a municipal worker's home.
Only three of the victims had been identified and no group has claimed
responsibility for the five murders in San Miguel, the nation's third biggest
It appeared each of the heads had been sliced off cleanly at the neck by a
single swing of a razor-sharp machete, officials said.
The machete is commonly used by rightist "death squads" operating in
the Massachusetts-sized nation of 4.2 million which has recorded some 18,000
political killings in the past 15 months.
Survey says 45% govt
employees observe fraud
WASHINGTON-Forty-five percent of federal employees participating in
a survey said they had personally observed fraud, waste, or
mismanagement initheir agencies within the past year, the government said
Of those who saw improper activity, 70 percent said they told no one and
did nothing about it-mostly because they feared reprisals or thought
nothing would be done anyway, the survey said.
Among those who reported wrongdoing to their superiors or inspectors, 43
percent said they felt the abuses had not been corrected.
About 9 percent who reported observing wrongdoing said the waste or
mismanagement cost the government more than $100,000.
The survey was conducted by the Merit Systems Protection Board, a
government agency created in 1978 to protect whistleblowers-government
employees who report wrongdoing.




abbe llftrbigan IDatlg
Vol. XCI, No. 160
Thursday, April 16, 1981
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