Global Security Newswire Factual Inaccuracy (SPECIAL UPDATE!!!)

I’m very pleased to see that the GSN has in fact now corrected one of the factual inaccuracies that I pointed out to them in Elaine Grossman’s 9/28 piece. See my original post on this immediately below this one.  Just to reiterate, I did try to communicate with Elaine, and with the editor Chris Shneidmiller, directly at first about the inaccuracies. Elaine sent me back an email in which she denied that there were factual inaccuracies, and said she stood by the piece as written.

It was only after that that I decided to blog about it.  So I have to say that the additional attention this has gotten could have been avoided if my first attempts at direct communication had been taken more seriously. But nevertheless, I’m glad to see that in the end the GSN has done the right thing and has changed the originally factually incorrect language.

As I noted in my previous post, the original wording of the problematic sentence was: “Netanyahu, in his Thursday address to the U.N. General Assembly, argued why he believes Iran — which has threatened to obliterate Israel — must not be allowed to develop an atomic bomb of its own.”

After my critique of this language on ACL, the sentence has now been changed to read: “Netanyahu, in his Thursday address to the U.N. General Assembly, argued why he believes Iran — whose leaders have referred repeatedly to Israel’s future demise — must not be allowed to develop an atomic bomb of its own.”

This is of course a correct statement, and is journalistically responsible. I’ll just reiterate that I think it is important that journalists do their due diligence when reporting about Iran, and don’t just rehash things that they assume are true, or would like to be true. Journalists play an important role in opinion making, and on this subject in particular the cost of irresponsible journalism could be war. So the responsibility to report carefully, and not to spin or embellish, is particularly great.

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