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July 17, 2014

ABC News Does What CBS Won't: Correct the Record


Jeff Fager, chairman of CBS News and producer for the networks flagship newsmagazine should take a cue from his competitors at ABC News.

On Tuesday, July 8 news anchor Diane Sawyer mistakenly referred to a video of Palestinians trying to recover the belongings from the aftermath of an Israeli air strike as Israelis “trying to salvage what they can” after a missile attack from the Gaza Strip. Two days later, on Thursday July 11, the network issued an statement that read as follows:

On Tuesday night "World News" aired a report on the conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis, including attacks from both sides.

In the introduction to the story, we mistakenly identified a family depicted in a still photo.

They are Palestinian, not Israeli.

We regret the error and will correct it.

Later that day, Sawyer said the following to her audience:

And now a note. On Tuesday evening, we made a mistake and I want to put up these pictures again because during an introduction to a story on the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians, I misidentified these powerful images. The people in these photos are Palestinians in Gaza in the aftermath of an air strike by Israel, not Israelis, as I mistakenly described them. And we want you to know we are truly sorry for the error.

Writing for The Washington Post, Erik Wimple took note of the correction, stating that Sawyer’s “’note’ fills the boxes on the gray-bearded journo’s ethical corrections list.” He runs down all of the requirements:

· Issuing the correction on the same platform on which the mistake ran? Check.

· Disclosing the full extent of the error? Check.

· Taking personal responsibility for the error? Check.

· Apologizing for the error? Check.

Textbook on-air correction? Check.

Sadly, not everyone exhibits the same commitment to correcting the record. It's been more than a year and 60 Minutes has yet to correct an egregious error regarding the security barrier in the West Bank. In April 2012, the news magazine said the barrier completely surrounds Bethlehem. It doesn't.

CBS News exec Fager repeated the error at his church and was called out on his factual misstatement. He said he'd look into it, but to this day, no correction has been made.

In this instance, ABC News exhibited the type of journalistic integrity that Fager and his network pretends to have.

For background about CBS News' failure to correct go here and watch the video below:

Posted by dvz at July 17, 2014 01:17 PM

Comments

CBS, NBC- at 6:35-6:40 Tuesday, July22:

just showed footage of the desolation and death in gaza but no reporting from the Israeli side on the israelis running from rocket fire on a daily basis, on the children who can't sleep at night, on the fear experienced when the sirens go off, or of the dead soldiers or their families. How unbalanced and bias can AMERICAN news media be????? It is not just about the dead - there is a story behind this war. The story of the desire of Hamas to kidnap and kill Israelis, the story of Hamas firing thousands of rockets at Israeli civilians, the story of fear and disruption of life as residents of Israel know it. How about showing the over twenty sophisticated, expensive tunnels that were built using hundreds of millions of dollars of "humanitarian" aid. How about a story about what could have been if the aid had been used to build a society instead of for building a war machine to destroy Israel. What about the story investigating how the billions of dollars received by the Palestinian leaders since 1993 was spent. (For a brief view of the funding of Hamas from 1993 - 2007, see "Forbes, 1/16/2009). How about the story of Jews after the Holocaust who, instead of spending their lives fighting to get their land and homes back, moved on to other lands, learned new languages and built families and communities in peace.

Posted by: Anonymous at July 22, 2014 06:54 PM

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