Moynamama OP t1_ixg1yjp wrote

The source wasn’t a bad source. It’s was a senior US official. That official had bad information. That’s why you need to hear it from multiple people before you publish.

The reporter reported what the US senior official told him about the bombing (it was Russia). The AP editors assessed what they knew and decided to go ahead and run with it.

It sounds like the reporter was pushing them to go with it, but they are the ones who said go. If they got pressured into publishing by the reporter, that’s even more damming in my opinion. It’s an editor’s job to soberly consider the story and decide when it is ready for publication.

Edit: Someone published the Slack conversation in here. The reporter wasn’t pushing. It was just piss poor communication between the reporter and editors.


Moynamama OP t1_ixfznr6 wrote

Yes, the editors should have been more skeptical and waited to get confirmation from at least one other source. The AP did not follow its own rules and made a mistake.

LaPorta did not lie about the source. He got the information from a senior US official. That same source had been vetted by AP editors in the past. It’s not that they did not know who the source was. It’s that they agreed to go with what that one single person said without getting it confirmed by another source.

To quote the article: After further discussion, a second editor said she “would vote” for publishing an alert, adding, “I can’t imagine a U.S. intelligence official would be wrong on this.”

By your paraphrasing the AP editors failed to follow the bureau’s rule on anonymous sourcing because obviously the single source did not provide “so detailed of information there can be no doubt to authenticity.”

The reason LaPorta got canned is because he told his editors the source had been vetted by an AP senior manager. That was true. The source had been vetted by a senior manager for other stories. However, his editors took that to mean a senior manager had approved the sourcing for this story. That had not happened.

I believe the AP does an excellent job much of not most of the time. I’m not railing against its reporting or questioning its credibility overall.

However in this case, I think the organization should take a look at its editorial approval process and not try to throw all the blame on one reporter.


Moynamama OP t1_ixfggs9 wrote

Apply some healthy skepticism and not run a story based on a single anonymous source, which is standard operating procedure for most media, including the AP. Also editors often vet a reporter’s sources while maintaining anonymity. Editors don’t just take a reporter’s word that their source is who he/she says the source is. The AP editors broke the organization’s rules in this case by publishing the unverified story then turned around and scapegoated the reporter. They are the ones charged with verifying before publishing.