Don’t let ABC’s mistake fuel distrust of the media

NLP in the News


In a report Sunday about violence in northern Syria, ABC’s “World News Tonight included a video clip of a nighttime machine gun exhibition at a Kentucky shooting range. Anchor Tom Llamas mistakenly described it as “appearing to show Turkey’s military bombing Kurd civilians.”  While ABC made a serious error in including this footage, the lapse fueled cynical notions about how standards-based news organizations work.

Peter Adams, NLP’s senior vice president of education, puts the incident in context in a piece for Poynter Institute. “This is a good reminder of a fundamental concept in news literacy: Not all information — including misinformation — is created with the same motivations and processes. Most significant errors and breaches of standards at major news outlets are driven by a desire to break news,” he writes.

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