OAN’s Stephanie Stahl
2:22 PM – Monday, October 23, 2023
The New York Times (NYT) issued a statement to its readers regarding its previous coverage of an explosion at a hospital in Gaza after the publication initially relied on claims from Palestinian officials that suggested the incident resulted from an Israeli airstrike.
The popular news outlet released a statement on social media on Monday, acknowledging it had perpetuated false claims regarding Israeli responsibility to the explosion that was reported by Palestinian officials.
Israel quickly denied that the explosion was the result of Israeli airstrikes, while various international officials, including President Joe Biden, supported Israel’s claims.
The NYT admitted that they had relied too heavily on claims by Hamas-led government officials, which led to the previous headline, “Israeli Strike Kills Hundreds In Hospital, Palestinians Say.”
The headline was later revised to reflect the uncertainty regarding the blast’s origin.
The NYT explained that they continued to update their coverage as more information became available, reporting disputed claims of responsibility and noting that the death toll might be lower than initially reported.
Within two hours, the headline and other text were adjusted to reflect the latest understanding of the incident. The outlet also stated its commitment to examining its procedures and taking precautions in the future.
“Given the sensitive nature of the news during a widening conflict, and the prominent promotion it received, Times editors should have taken more care with the initial presentation, and been more explicit about what information could be verified,” the editors’ note read.
“Newsroom leaders continue to examine procedures around the biggest breaking news events — including for the use of the largest headlines in the digital report — to determine what additional safeguards may be warranted,” it concluded.
The Israel conflict was triggered by a series of terrorist attacks by Hamas against Israeli civilians on October 7th. According to the Associated Press, the ongoing conflict has led to more than 6,000 fatalities in both Israel and Gaza, including at least 30 Americans.
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