12:34 PM

How Many Fake Journalists Does Reuters Employ?

Journalistmachine 1

Jim Romenesko knows of two fake journalists at a Thomson Reuters publication, how many more are there elsewhere? 


Legal journalists in Australia were surprised last week to see Michelle Boatley's byline back in Australasian Legal Business (ALB), a Thomson Reuters-owned publication. A few years ago, Boatley was cranking out stories left and right -- short pieces about law firm layoffs, merger deals, and firm expansions.

Then she vanished...The prolific legal writer was not real, but a creation of ALB bosses. (They also used a fake George Beveridge byline on occasion...) ALB editors set up a fake Gmail account for Boatley a few years ago after an Australian PR firm tried to contact her about an error in a story. 

» Meet Michelle Boatley, fake Thomson Reuters legal publication reporter

It seems Thomson Reuters isn't in much of a rush to explain its policy on bylines. Fake bylines have often been used in newspapers in the past but this is supposed to be a new era of transparency and authenticity in media and fake names don't fit.