Accuracy in Media

NPR turned a photograph of a female motorist escaping armed rioters into a discussion about right-wing white supremacists and had to backtrack its misleading use of the photograph.

The news outlet headlined its article on the rise of right-wing extremism, “Vehicle Attacks Rise As Extremists Target Protesters.”

The article discussed the increase of right-wing white supremacists using vehicles to ram and injure protesters and included a photograph of an incident in Louisville, Ky. But the photograph’s inclusion was misleading because the female motorist in the photograph was not a white supremacist.

A female motorist was accosted by armed rioters in the city, who then blocked her from driving further and one of them brandished a weapon. She reversed the car and sped off, hitting one of the armed assailants. She has not been charged with a crime and two protesters were arrested in connection with the aggressive confrontation.

NPR apologized and wrote on Twitter that the Louisville photograph “does not appear to be an example of the assaults described in the story, and has been replaced.”

But it should have dug into the story behind the photograph before including it in a story about white supremacists.

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