Associated Press fires reporter who blamed faulty missile strike in Poland on Russia

Following a review of their standard, The Associated Press has dismissed a reporter for using anonymous sourcing following an “egregious” error in a story he wrote about a missile strike in which two people in Poland were killed.

The national security reporter, James LaPorta, was removed from his position after being labelled responsible for a November 15 news alert that erroneously said Russian missiles had been responsible for the strike, according to sources at the AP familiar with the decision. They asked to remain anonymous due to the relation being about internal operations.

LaPorta has worked for the AP for two years. When asked for his thoughts on the matter, he said “I would love to comment on the record, but I have been ordered by the AP to not comment.”

AP is believed to be the first news outlet outside of Poland to have reported on the strike itself last week. The error made was deemed particularly serious due to NATO’s promise to retaliate should Russia attack a member state.

“We review any egregious mistakes that are made,” Julie Pace, senior vice president and executive editor of the AP, said of last week’s error. “We take our standards very seriously. If we don’t live up to our standards, we don’t have any choice but to take action. Trust in the AP and trust in our report is paramount.”

The initial report was attributed to a “senior US intelligence official” with no justification provided as to why the person was given anonymity.

The AP has said it was investigating all aspects of the story and the way it was handled, and how the article was signed off, Pace said.

“Anytime that we have an error, and certainly an error of this magnitude, we have to stop,” Pace said. “We have to make sure we have the right policies when it comes to anonymous sources and reporting on sensitive information, and we need to make sure that our staff is trained properly and has a clear understanding how to implement these standards.”




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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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