Thursday, April 20


What a relief. The story about masked gunmen in Iraq beheading two teachers in front of their students turns out to be wrong.

It was a Reuters wire that read in part: "Separate groups of gunmen entered two primary schools in Baghdad on Wednesday and beheaded two teachers in front of their students," according to the Ministry of State for National Security.
...why would a ministry ever put out such a statement that's so inflammatory? And if this is so official, and so dead wrong, who can you trust out here?

Just as troubling, how responsible is it for a news agency (in this case a wire service) to put out such information without trying to go through some independent fact-checking. I put that question to other officials and bureau chiefs of the agencies, and there was no answer. A classic case of misinformation and bad reporting.

For now the story is dead, and once again there is the reminder that on a daily basis, truth is always the first casualty here. Having a healthy skepticism about everything is just as important as wearing your flak jacket here.

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