David Maclean of The Independent, reports today on the repercussions of getting a story wrong…the reporter was terminated. Finally, a measure of accountability by a notable magazine. Here’s the story:
The visit was kept highly secret for the president’s safety, and his public schedule said he would be at his Mar-a-Lago hotel in Florida on the holiday, where he would make calls to selected military members.
That led to an article being published in Newsweek based on apparent speculation, saying Mr Trump would likely spend the day on the golf course, and firing out missives on Twitter.
The error was quickly seized upon by Donald Trump Jr who posted a screenshot of the article with the caption: “Fake news gonna fake!”.
His father retweeted it shortly afterwards, commenting: “I thought Newsweek was out of business?”
The story was later updated, with the news organisation adding a note of their edits at the end of the article. The reporter, Jessica Kwong, has since had her employment terminated.
It’s understood that several editors played a part in the publishing process, but so far it is unclear if they too have been disciplined or dismissed.
The Washington Examiner quoted a Newsweek spokesman who said: “Newsweek investigated the failures that led to the publication of the inaccurate report that President Trump spent Thanksgiving tweeting and golfing rather than visiting troops in Afghanistan.
“The story has been corrected, and the journalist responsible has been terminated. We will continue to review our processes and, if required, take further action.”
The Independent has contacted Newsweek for more information.
Ms Kwong posted shortly after the correction was made: “Deleting this tweet because it was written before knowing about the president’s surprise visit to Afghanistan – an honest mistake. Story has already been updated, as shown in the screenshot.”
- The Independent
- David Maclean