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Media Analyses

AP Misuse of Photo Links Syrian Gas Attack Victims to Israel

Update: Following communication from CAMERA, the Associate Press has commendably replaced its photo that misleadingly suggested Israeli responsibility for the Douma attack.
According to an Associated Press headline this morning, Israel is being blamed for a pre-dawn strike on a Syrian military base. The large photo AP opted to use alongside that headline, though, is of young Syrian victims of an earlier chemical attack presumed to be carried out by the Syrian regime.

As a result of AP's egregiously misleading photo choice, the casual reader is likely to assume, wrongly, that these children are the victims of the airstrike blamed on Israel.

AP Photo Misleads on Israel and Syria

CAMERA has contacted Associated Press journalists to urge the wire service to replace the misleading photograph, and also notified AP on Twitter.

On the Associated Press website, a hidden caption explaining that the photo is of victims of an "alleged poison gas attack in the rebel-held town of Douma" during a Syrian offensive (and not of the subsequent strike on the Syrian military base near the city of Homs) is not visible to readers unless they click on a small button at the bottom of the photo.

Separately, the UK-based Sky News used a similar photo of a child victim of the Douma gas attack below a headline that reads, "Israel Accused of Deadly Syria Airfield Bombing." Again, the "airfield bombing" was on a Syrian military base, not on Douma.

A Jerusalem Post reporter was among the first on Twitter to protest the misleading juxtaposition by Sky News. CAMERA's UK Media Watch, which also contacted Sky News, notes that the picture has been replaced.

The updated photo is of the Syrian air base.

We commend Sky News for taking steps to avoid misleading its readers. We will update this space if the Associated Press does the same. We likewise commend the Associated Press for doing the same.

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