HR Strange But True!
June 10, 2005

Hey, Jayson Blair, it's been 2 years since you embroiled yourself in the biggest scandal to hit journalism in years. You lost your job as a reporter for the New York Times amid lots of evidence that you plagiarized from other newspapers on a regular basis. So what are you up to these days?

"Looking for a job," Blair, 29, told a reporter for a newspaper in his hometown in northern Virginia.

But he added that he recently received an online degree through Jones International University and is looking for work in ... human resources.

"I want to help protect employees who find themselves in situations like the one I was in," Blair said.

In college, he said, he had merely hoped to graduate and begin his journalism career at some small weekly newspaper. But at the University of Maryland, he found himself in what the local paper described as a connection-maker's paradise, where every influential professor seemed to want to help him. After ingratiating himself with the journalism department's top administrators, he quickly found himself on the fast track to becoming a star reporter—a track he said he was not ready for.

Blair said he has come to terms with his notoriety. "Nothing is ever going to change that first line of my obituary," he said. "Even if I manage to reach and help more people than I ever did as a journalist, it won't change a thing."

So instead of dwelling on what he might have accomplished, Blair said he is now focused on what he still can do.

"There's this assumption that the lives of talented people will follow an arc that keeps going up and up," he said. "But we all go down sometimes. Everybody makes mistakes; some in private, some in public. What's truly important is what we learn from those mistakes."

Source: Times Community Newspapers of Northern Virginia

Anyone planning to enter HR should have an online resource that gives answers to compliance questions in plain English. That resource is

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