The New Yorker Returns Award for Story on Japanese Rent-a-Household

George T. Taft

The New Yorker has returned a National Journal Award for a 2018 post about a Japanese business enterprise that rents actors who fake to be customers’ relatives members. The decision to give up the award arrived following an investigation by the magazine identified that the story’s a few primary topics experienced deceived the article’s author and the simple fact-checking office.

The American Society of Journal Editors, which administers the Countrywide Magazine Awards, announced the magazine’s final decision on Friday, far more than a month after The New Yorker appended an editors’ take note to the on-line model of the posting saying the conclusions of its investigation.

The magazine affiliation said it “commends The New Yorker for its investigation of the story and its decision to return the award.” A New Yorker spokeswoman verified the return of the award and declined to remark more.

The 9,000-word short article, “A Theory of Relativity,” was created by Elif Batuman, a novelist and a employees author at the journal since 2010. It received the award for best attribute composing.

The editors’ observe attached to the online variation mentioned the conclusions of the magazine’s investigation “contradict elementary factors of these individuals’ tales and broadly undermine the reliability of what they explained to us.”

Even the article’s opening lines contained falsehoods, the magazine’s investigation located. “Two a long time ago, Kazushige Nishida, a Tokyo salaryman in his sixties, started leasing a aspect-time wife and daughter,” the story began. “His authentic spouse experienced a short while ago died.” The journal identified that Mr. Nishida did not provide the journal with his genuine complete title and that he was married.

The editors’ note included that The New Yorker would depart the story on its website mainly because the phenomenon of “‘rental’ relatives” in Japan is “well documented” and due to the fact it provided “an exploration of ideas of family in Japan and more greatly.”

The New Yorker reported it started inspecting the short article just after news corporations in Japan described in 2019 that an worker of Loved ones Romance, the outfit explained in the posting, “had falsely posed as a customer of the company in a Television documentary.” Ms. Batuman declined to comment.

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