MSM caught misleading readers about Syrian siblings killed in Aleppo
The Independent and New York Daily News have come under fire for misleading readers about the death of a Syrian swimmer and her 12-year-old brother.
Mireille Hindoyan and her 12-year-old brother were killed in the Villi district of West Aleppo following strikes on Friday.
UK newspaper The Independent published the story on Sunday and implied their deaths were the result of strikes by the Syrian government and its allies.
It cited a news report by Armenian news site Kantsasar which confirmed the young swimmer’s death.
The article continued with the following: “It came after Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said there had been a bloodbath in Aleppo amid a sustained assault on the city by pro-Assad forces backed by Russian warplanes.”
@MCinIthaca@katieforster Look at the very next sentence implying Russian bombing "ing MSF abt sustained Sy & Ru air campaign.Misleading— 3xInfinite (@888Charles) October 2, 2016
What the Independent failed to mention was Kantsasar’s statement that the attack was carried out by “rebels.”
.@KatieForster cites Aleppo Armenian news Kantsasar & doesn't mention it blamed attacks on "armed terrorist groups" https://t.co/2Ng4bX2NFn— Ben Norton (@BenjaminNorton) October 2, 2016
@Nour_Samaha Quite sure @katieforster knew exactly what she was doing.— Steve E Ennever (@MusicMiscreant) October 2, 2016
Story would not have been used if #Assad couldn't be blamed.
Yet made several mentions of regime & Russian attacks on rebel-held Aleppo, implying that's what killed Mireille and Arman. @katieforster— Lina Arabi (@LinaArabii) October 2, 2016
@BenjaminNorton@katieforster So not only does she not ignore news (as most Western media orgs would) but she implies it was Govt/Rus forces— Ludwig W (@LudWitt) October 2, 2016
Other sources reported the deaths as being the result of rebel strikes in the area, which is under the control of the Assad government.
Killed by rebel hell canons today in Aleppo:— Serge (@Zinvor) September 30, 2016
Siblings Mireille & Arman Hindoyan, Dzila Jabaghchourian & Hasmig Giragosian-Berejiklian. #RIPpic.twitter.com/u00KEejJjz
Following criticism, the Independent later added the following paragraph: “A number of commentators claimed the deaths were a result of a rebel-led attack, although those claims could not be verified.”
.@katieforster@Independent Oh, there's a correction. But I'm genuinely intrigued, what was the attempt at verification? @iadtawilpic.twitter.com/dgsDoBpuoT— M Sánchez (@Hokkaido_89) October 3, 2016
.@katieforster@Independent Its confirmed the rebels did it, the kids were christian Armenians living in govt area. https://t.co/3eo8ZsoFTEpic.twitter.com/kMaRtrQ1pU— Partisangirl (@Partisangirl) October 2, 2016
The article also reported two patients were killed in an attack on a hospital in Aleppo. While the Independent said it wasn’t clear who was behind the attacks, it finished with: “But hospital facilities have been plagued by bombing by forces loyal to the Syrian government in recent weeks.”
.@katieforster You wrote a story on the dead siblings & didn't even mention their killers ("rebels") or where they lived (W. Aleppo). Shame.— Haidar Sumeri (@IraqiSecurity) October 2, 2016
@MCinIthaca@Nour_Samaha@katieforster Article contorted to NOT mention who fired these shells. It's no mystery.— 3xInfinite (@888Charles) October 2, 2016
Even worse,implied Ru bombs
Harout Ekmanian, a Syrian-Armenian journalist born in Aleppo and now living in New York, also criticized the Independent for implying the attack was a result of Syrian and Russian attacks.
.@katieforster if u cant verify sources dont repeat lies. She died by rebel shelling not Assad bombing. #disgracefulhttps://t.co/Syrfj0cPXx— Harout Ekmanian (@HaroutEkmanian) October 2, 2016
“If you can’t verify sources, don’t repeat lies. She died by rebel shelling not Assad bombing,” he said.
Ekmanian wrote an article for the NY Daily News published late Sunday which discussed media bias in reporting the swimmer’s death. He says all those references were removed without his consent, however.
My @NYDailyNews oped on #Syria. Reference to #Aleppo swimmer death & media bias about it was removed w/o my consent https://t.co/kpU3xirol8— Harout Ekmanian (@HaroutEkmanian) October 3, 2016
What remains of the piece are his memories of living in Aleppo and a warning to the US of how cosmopolitan Aleppo disintegrated into a conflict zone.
“After five years of conflict, Aleppo is a reminder to the world of how fragile our cosmopolitanism and tolerance is when confronted with political greed, violence and bigotry,” he said.
Ekmanian was unhappy with the changes made without his knowledge, and the feeling was echoed by social media users.
so we go into the darkest times of Journalism today. Not even sided reporting. Now they delete parts of some articles. W https://t.co/cpiHzfFN6v— Simon Skerlan (@SimonSek) October 3, 2016
.@NYDailyNews Is this what NYDN calls journalism? Did the editors do it to surreptitiously prove Ekmanian's point? @HaroutEkmanian— M Sánchez (@Hokkaido_89) October 3, 2016
Others expressed frustration that the Independent seemingly consciously omitted the fact that the shelling was carried out by rebels.
@AliTahmizian, yet @KatieForster from @Independent makes a point in her coverage to omit the fact the siblings were killed in rebel shelling— Nour Samaha (@Nour_Samaha) October 2, 2016
@Nour_Samaha Hi @katieforster@Independent I read your article. It is misleading, lumping in unidentified shelling w/ alleged regime attacks— Alison Meuse (@AliTahmizian) October 2, 2016