Seems to Me We've Seen This Before
At least Michael Brenner, our erstwhile SIU student journalist, has a long line of modern predecessors to imitate. From Janet Cooke to James Guckert, Mr. Brenner has the requisite number of journalist-fabulist (journofabulists?) to claim that "everybody else is doing it."
Thankfully, SIUC's student paper the Daily Egyptian is coming clean with what it knows and what it has. I hope this will give other aspiring reporters pause. The business of newspapers is to sell papers, yes, but if you falsify information, create information out of nothing, or misrepresent what you report, you will be found out. A newspaper that gets a reputation for repeated factual errors soon loses customers.