05 January 2007

It is not the Jamil question, it is the Ethics of AP

Well, it appears that Capt. Jamil Hussein has been found! Or, so reports the AP.

At this point even if there is a real Capt. Jamil Hussein and each and every bit of what he said is *true*, which is not the case as so many of his accounts have been shown to be counter-factual that they are all in question as to having any basis, this would NOT solve AP's problem. I discussed that here, and brought up the Ethics code: Associated Press Managing Editors 1999 updated 04 MAY 2004, which is available online.

Their veracity and willing to hold themselves to their established Code of Ethics and their treatment of the Public bringing their actual reporting into question has been abominable. Their unwillingness to be open, transparent and either give good means to verify their sources or produce credible reasons why those sources wish to be anonymous has not been done. Further, they have violated journalistic ethics in not requiring multiple sources to confirm events, which is usually at least two, if not three or more. Sole source news is highly prone to inaccurate reporting, bias and skewing of events to that single sole source. When that sole source is brought into question, the onus of providing legitimacy is NOT on those asking the question but upon the news organization to demonstrate that they are, indeed, performing up to their necessary standards of journalism and doing their best to keep the Public informed.

Such organizations as the Investor's Business Daily have now called into question all of AP's work and why they should be trusted:

What is clear about all this is that nothing is clear. Maybe there's a Jamil Hussein with the Iraqi police, but he's a sergeant, not a captain. Maybe there's a police captain whose first name is spelled Jamail, not Jamil. Both possibilities have been floated in the blogosphere, but neither has withstood scrutiny.

Editor & Publisher summed it up best when it reported that Jamil Hussein had been lost, then "found," then lost again. Amazing.

Last summer, Reuters, the media outlet that refuses to label terrorists as terrorists, was jolted by the "fauxtography" scandal. Adnan Hajj, a freelance Lebanese photographer, allegedly doctored images of the Israel-Hezbollah war and photographed what appeared to many to be staged scenes of victim rescue and recovery efforts in Qana, a Lebanese village where Israel attacked Hezbollah terrorists. Both were clearly an effort to further inflame a world that had already cast Israel as the villain.

Just as we asked in August if Reuters was "a patsy or collaborator," we wonder the same about the AP. We also wonder if we can trust any AP report from the Middle East. If it can't show us Capt. Jamil Hussein, we're not sure it has anything else we want to see.
Yes, why would anyone want to trust an organization that abuses its Public trust and its own Code of Ethics to report sole sourced articles that cannot be confirmed that help to inflame violence? As so many trust AP reporting, this poisoning of the source and not showing responsibility for coming clean, as stated in the Code of Ethics and being transparent to Public Scrutiny now puts the entire organization at risk for ALL OF ITS REPORTING. Good, bad and indifferent, it is now all seen as tainted and open to question.

When AP struck back at those asking the questions and asked if they were questioning the accuracy and honesty of AP reporting, they then opened themselves into a realm of unethical behavior. Because that answer was *yes*.

And now both the honesty and ethics of AP are in question for everything they do.

If AP is serious about its ethics code it will open an investigation into this reporting and make all of that public as it goes on.

Any refusal on their part, no matter the actual state of Jamil Hussein, is unethical.

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