When Jack Ewing was first assigned by the New York Times to cover the Volkswagen emissions scandal, the story didn’t seem like it would last more than a few weeks. Initially, the automaker said that about 500,000 cars had been affected. That number would eventually grow to more than 11 million.
It didn’t take long, Ewing said, for him to realize that the scandal was as big as large corporate scandals like the Enron accounting fraud.
“There was continued massive deception that was international in its scope,” Ewing said during the Poynter Fellowship Conversation on October 10. “Initially, they thought the fines for the scandal would reach about $5 million dollars. In the U.S. alone, the scandal has cost almost $25 billion.”