Accuracy in Media

Almost a week ago, ABC News aired a video that erroneously claimed that there was an outbreak of war in Syria between the Turkish army and U.S.-allied Kurdish forces. However, the video was inaccurately described because it was footage from a Kentucky gun range, not a war being waged in Syria.

Part of the apology from ABC said that the news division “regrets the error” and issued a statement on Twitter. The network’s World News Tonight Twitter account said, “CORRECTION: We’ve taken down video that aired on “World News Tonight” Sunday and “Good Morning America” this morning that appeared to be from the Syrian border immediately after questions were raised about its accuracy. ABC News regrets the error. Another ABC program, “Good Morning America,” also issued an apology via tweet about the erroneous video.

Yet a week after this incident, the cable news network has not elaborated on how it will prevent an inaccuracy from being nationally broadcast in the future. This is a significant concern as the public already distrusts the media and this only adds another example of why to continue the distrust of the media.

Media pundits were left scratching their heads of how this could happen to a major media outlet and network like ABC. CNN’s Brian Stelter, during his program, “Reliable Sources,” called it the “most egregious media error of the week” and pointed out that ABC “has not explained what happened.”

This is not the first major error for both cable news networks and the mainstream media, which have had to retract stories in the past related to the Trump administration. However, misattribution and conjecture are too commonly passed off by the media as fact and retractions tend to not garner as much attention as the misreported information.

In order to regain the trust of the American people, the mainstream media and cable news networks must take greater care in reporting news after verifying the information or content.

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