New York Times sports reporter Karen Crouse resigned following an internal investigation after she failed to disclose a book deal with Michael Phelps when she covered the Olympic swimming legend for the paper.
“After 16 yrs I’ve resigned from @NYTSports to pursue nascent projects that are particularly timely,” Crouse tweeted. “It has been a wonderful run – and I’m not done.”
NY TIMES INVESTIGATING OWN REPORTER AFTER SHE DIDN’T DISCLOSE MICHAEL PHELPS BOOK DEAL: ‘SIGNIFICANT LAPSE’
The Times, which had blasted Crouse for a “significant lapse in judgment” and a clear conflict of interest,” informed staffers of her exit in a memo obtained by Washington Post media columnist Erik Wemple.
“Karen Crouse has resigned from The Times following our investigation related to the editor’s note on this article. As we stated earlier, our journalist must adhere to the highest standards. Our Ethical Journalism Guidelines state that no staff member may serve as a ghost writer or co-author for individuals who figure or are likely to figure in coverage they provide,” executive editor Dean Baquet wrote.
Last month, the Times published a story by Crouse headlined, “Michael Phelps Is Not Going to the Olympics, but His Wake Is,” which painted the 23-time gold medalist in a highly positive light with multiple tidbits about Phelps mentoring youth athletes.
But a month after the piece was initially published, it was updated with the scathing editor’s note mentioned by Baquet in Friday’s memo.
“After this article was published, editors learned that the reporter had entered an agreement to co-write a book with Michael Phelps. If editors had been aware of the conflict, the reporter would not have been given the assignment,” New York Times editors wrote atop Crouse’s piece.
“As the editors’ note makes clear, the arrangement was a conflict of interest. This was a significant lapse in judgment. We are reviewing this matter and will take appropriate action once the investigation has concluded,” the Times spokesperson added.
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Crouse graduated from the University of Southern California and started her career at local papers before joining the Times in 2005, according to her bio.