James LaPorta, an investigative journalist with the Associated Press (AP), was fired by the media company after a report stating Russia fired some missiles into NATO member Poland, killed two people. The report covered by LaPorta was widely shared, but was later taken down by AP. The company replaced the story with an editor’s note admitting the single source was wrong.
According to a Daily Beast report, AP later said the missiles were Russian-made, and were not actually fired from Russia. Missiles were “most likely fired by Ukraine in defense against a Russian attack," it stated.
LaPorta’s news article had attributed “a senior US official" as the source of the information, which AP later said is against its rule that it “routinely seeks and requires more than one source when sourcing is anonymous.” The only time a single source is considered enough, is when the information comes from an authoritative figure and is very detailed, an AP statement said.
La Porta later took to Twitter, thanking fellow journalists reached out to him “with words of encouragement and kindness".
I’d like to thank the multitude of journalists, editors and long-time readers that have reached out to me with words of encouragement and kindness. It sincerely means the world.— James LaPorta (@JimLaPorta) November 22, 2022
An AP spokesperson was approached by Confider, but he refused to comment on LaPorta’s ouster. He instead wrote: “The rigorous editorial standards and practices of The Associated Press are critical to AP’s mission as an independent news organization."
The new piece was originally co-bylined with John Leicester (who is still working at the AP). Earlier in 2013, AP had fired reporter Bob Lewis, over an erroneous report alleging then-Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe lied to a federal investigator.
It is unclear who edited LaPorta’s reporting in question or whether they faced any discipline for the error.
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