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CoachReporter Interview with Jayson Blair, Disgraced Journalist Turned Life Coach–Listen to the Podcast


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In his most extensive interview in years, disgraced former journalist Jayson Blair speaks with CoachReporter Mark Joyella about the plagiarism scandal that cost him his job at The New York Times and led the storied newspaper to describe the period as a “lowpoint” in more than 150 years of publishing “all the news that’s fit to print.”

Out of sight for years, Jayson Blair’s new line of work was revealed this week in an Associated Press report: Blair, now living in Northern Virginia, has become a certified life coach, working with clients at a psychological practice in Ashburn, Virginia.

Blair spoke with Mark Joyella from his new job, speaking frankly about the plagiarism scandal that ended his career as a journalist and crippled the careers of two top New York Times editors, and the time since. He also speaks to the criticism he’s received from coaches concerned that “Jayson Blair: Life Coach” cannot be good for a the field of coaching as it strives for respect and a professional code of ethics.

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About the Author

Mark Joyella is an Emmy-winning television news reporter and anchor who has worked at television stations in Colorado, Georgia, Florida and New York. A firm believer in the power of coaching, Mark has been on both sides of the coaching equation, as a client, and as a coach, helping aspiring journalists excel in writing, reporting and storytelling. Mark lives in Connecticut with his wife and daughter. Follow Mark on Twitter at

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There are 4 Responses so far...

Billy C H Teoh on August 25, 2009

Interesting dialogue. I am not familiar with Jayson’s past history; though I would like to know if someone similar to Jayson’s case is due more to his/her diagnosed ‘mental illness’ that affected his/her ‘integrity’ that led to his/her ‘disgrace’?

If someone similar to Jayson’s case, requires to be still on medication or is it possible that, that someone can fully recovered (most of the cases I know of with people with bipolar or similar mental illness conditions require life-time medication)?

What are the assurances that someone similar with Jayson’s condition experiencing a relapse, hence, affecting his/her profession or coaching practice? If someone similar to Jayson’s condition is fully recovered or controllable/manageable so that it will not affect his/her integrity in his/her profession of coaching practice, could we provide that person a second chance?

If integrity is the main issue here, does the ‘Model Standard Professional Code of Ethics’ agreed upon by ICF, IAC & EMCC sufficiently covers the integrity issues for coaches? Interesting this leads to another question that I wish there are cementing answers to it: “How do we position & brand coaching, so that, it is truly considered/perceived as a ‘noble’ & ‘life enhancement/enrichment’ profession?

Billy C H Teoh

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Angela Spaxman on August 26, 2009

As coaches our job is to believe in people: that they can change, they can follow their integrity and reach towards their potential. So I say, Go Jayson! Sounds like he has found great support, made some smart decisions and is now truly helping people.

On branding coaching, I think we have to accept that coaching is a broad field helping all kinds of people, from people recovering from mental illness, to world leaders. The best credentials for coaches in different fields will vary greatly around a core set of abilities, and the actual competence of coaches will also vary. So how do we brand? We can start by knowing the truth — that coaching is a noble, life enhancement/enrichment profession, and acting from that point.

Great interview, Mark!

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Mark Joyella on August 26, 2009


The sense I got from talking to the doctor who hired Blair was that he and the others in his practice were very wary of bringing Blair in under their roof, and made sure he was trained and supported and tested. Is it enough to win him respect from most coaches?

Curious to see how reaction settles on his new line of work.


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Billy C H Teoh on August 26, 2009

Perhaps Blair’s case, could be a ‘test case’(for the firm that took Blair on making sure that he is trained, supported and tested) to the power of coaching, where Blair who had a ‘mental illness’ or ‘integrity issue’ who could become ‘coachable’ to become useful again to the Community & Society?

I look forward and wish Blair to becoming a ‘successful model’; and am sure we can learn more about ‘integrity’ coaching (if integrity is the legitimate issue in question and not the mental illness). Wouldn’t that be great – ‘integrity coaching’ in action?

Billy C H Teoh

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