Magazine article The Quill

NY Times Free-Lancer Uses Composite

Magazine article The Quill

NY Times Free-Lancer Uses Composite

Article excerpt

Free-lancer Michael Finkel has admitted that his Youssouf Male character - featured in a Nov. 18, 2001 New York Times Magazine article -was a composite of several boys, including one by that name.

The story focused on the experience of an adolescent West African boy in Mali who left his home village and sold himself into service on a cocoa plantation in Ivory Coast.

"Though the account was drawn from his reporting on the scene and from interviews with human rights workers, Mr. Finkel acknowledges many facts were extrapolated from what he learned was typical of boys on such journeys, and did not apply specifically to any single individual," The New York Times reported in February.

Finkel said that he wrote the article without consulting his notes. …

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