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Shattered Glass

In: English and Literature

Submitted By alearellano
Words 1563
Pages 7
Lies, damn lies and fiction-Answers and Questions
1. Explain what “unverifiable” means and how it is important in this article. Saying something is unverifiable means that it is impossible or rarely able to be confirmed, or proven to be true. The article “Lies, damn lies and fiction” talks about Stephen Glass, a The New Republic reporter that wrote unreal events. The word “unverifiable” is important in this article because Glass’ sources in his articles were not able to be proven to be true.

2. Describe “Hack Heaven” and explain the story behind Ian Restil. "Hack Heaven", an article written by Glass redacts the story of Ian Restil; a 15-year-old computer hacker who broke through the online security system of a "big-time software firm" called Jukt Micronics. Once inside, Restil posted every employee's salary on the company's web site alongside a bunch of nude pictures, each bearing the caption "THE BIG BAD BIONIC BOY HAS BEEN HERE BABY." According to Glass, instead of reporting this case, The Company executives decided that they required to hire the teenage hacker, who had obtained the services of an agent, Joe Hiert, described as a "super-agent to super-nerds.

3. Ultimately the sentence “a frightening story. But not true” is repeated twice. Why? Consider as well where this sentence is placed. What is the effect on you-the reader? The use of the sentence typed twice almost gives the reader a sense of sarcasm (towards Glass’ story) coming from the writer, but it is also used to give an emphasis and make the reader see that the story is too “good to be true”

4. Explain, “It is not the medium, it is the writer.” What does it mean in this context? Provide one quotation for support. What might it mean in any other context/ medium (consider Marshall McLuhan’s “The medium is the message”. According to Penenberg, (the author of the article “Lies, more lies and fiction) nothing in the story could be verified; he explains that “even Jukt Micronics' phone number turned out to be a cell phone”. There was trust putted in Glass, a young reporter that, really, was just starting. No one really questioned Glass if something seemed odd. Penenberg expresses that it is ironic that online journalists (which are not taken as seriously) receive bad press from the print media for “shoddy reporting”, when Glass, who lied in every single article was admired just because he worked in a newspaper that had a very good reputation. Penenberg raises a good point; “bad journalism can be found anywhere” no matter the type of media (articles coming either online or being printed).
Marshall McLuhan’s “the medium is the message” can relate to this issue. McLuhan’s saying refers to how the form of a medium embeds itself in the message, creating a symbiotic relationship by which the medium influences how the message is perceived. In this case, using a prestigious trusted Magazine as the media enabled Glass to write his articles without being questioned, but recognized.

5. Name the journalist of this article; as well as the so-called journalist who came up with the caption: “the big bad bionic boy has been here baby” The journalist of this article is Adam L. Penenberg, he writes about Stephen Glass, a 25-year-old rising star at The New Republic who wrote dozens of high-profile articles for a number of national publications in which he made things up. In his article “Hack Heaven” he came up with the caption “the big dad bionic boy has been here baby” which the hacker in his story supposedly said.

Glass house -Answers and Questions.

1. How does this article open up? What are two ways to catch the reader’s attention? The Article opens up with a brief description of two of Glass’ articles, in which he makes fun of the unrealistic possibility of finding a story about a “bond dealer at the New York firm of RBL who keeps a hand-held urinal at his desk so he never misses a market turn.” The author of this article, Jack Shafer, goes right to the point of the news, which makes the reader know exactly what the article is about. Shafer also uses a more personal way to tell the news, (without being too informal) which makes the reader want to keep reading because he or she might feel sympathetic of the funny observations Shafer makes throughout the article.
2. Juxtapose the stories featured in this article with that featured in Lies, damn lies and fiction and explain the meaning found in relating these three side by side. Use one quotation for support. In both articles, the authors give a description of articles from Glass and how unrealistic some events were. Shafer says “it’s too good to be true”
Lies, damn lies and fiction focuses more on “Hack Heaven” while in Glass Houses, Shafer talks about many of Glass’ articles and links them together. The formats in which the articles are written are different. Penenberg’s article is more formal, where as in Shafer’s is more personal, sharing to the reader the experiences Shafer lived while working with Glass. Shafer’s format is like a “docudrama” in which he tells the news about Glass, but also provides personal details that might attract more of the reader’s attention.
3. Explain three ways in which Glass was discredited. Briefly give the circumstances. Glass could easily make up a story that build up credibility but was a lie, He made up facts that backed up with more lies and the way he used his colleagues’ trust were three ways by which he was discredited. The circumstances were simple, he took advantage of the trust and prestige of the magazine to write lies and have his articles published. This went against his ethics as a journalist, which cost him his job at The New Republic.

4. Apparently “the main reason Glass spoofed everybody’s radar is that his stories were, in the self-mocking journalist phrase too good to check” what does that mean? The main reason Glass spoofed everybody radar is that his stories were, in the self-mocking journalist phrase ‘too good to check” means that his stories were really entertaining that people didn’t bother checking for actual facts.
5. What is the significance of the sentence, “no publication is safe from a trusted reporter who makes things up?” What does that imply about journalism and the integrity of individual journalists? The significance is very clear; one cannot have trust in a publication coming from someone who makes things up. Steven Glass was sociable and liked by many of his colleagues but in the end his stories were found unverifiable, which did not only ruin his reputation but his integrity and trust as a journalist. After discovering his articles were a lie, he lost his job and was seen as a liar who should not be trusted. Journalism’s major goal is to present real news and stories to readers. If these stories are not true, then journalism just becomes fiction.

Are docudramas a viable way to present history or important issues to the mainstream?
By: Alejandra Arellano
Day 2, Period 3
A Docudrama is a documentary-style genre that features dramatized re-enactments of actual historical events. Docudramas usually tend to demonstrate some facts of the events in the story with some fictitious characters or relationships. Shattered Glass, a docudrama directed by Billy Ray, allows the viewer to experience a more personal and emotional angle from the story of Stephen Glass, a 25-year-old rising star working at The New Republic who was found guilty of having unverified sources in all the high-profile articles he wrote for a number of national publications. Considering him as a fraud, he lost his job at The New Republic.
The beginning of Shattered Glass shows Stephen as a very sociable person, who seems really focused on his job. However as the movie goes on the viewer grows suspicious about him. Every time there is a problem he asks “what’s wrong”, he apologizes constantly and worries about his colleagues being mad at him. The docudrama shows the strong relationship Stephen has with the staff working at The New Republic, they seem to trust him and appreciate him, which sometimes enables Stephen to manipulate other people by using his charm.
When Chuck, the new editor of the magazine, starts doubting his articles, Stephen becomes very defensive, arrogant, over-explains if something is being asked to him, apologizes, makes up more lies or tries to change the subject.
Stephen is a pathological liar, he expresses that his life “was one very long process of lying and lying again, to figure out how to cover those other lies”. However, even though he took advantage of people’s trust and that ruined not only his reputation but also the magazine’s, some viewers might still feel bad about his “punishment” which was losing his job. During his first interview since his journalism career ended, the viewer is already suspicious and feels as if Stephen is trying too hard to look honest. As the docudrama, the interview gives a closer, more personal angle to the viewer.
A docudrama is a viable way to present history or issues to the public when the goal is to create a realistic human connection.

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