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Media Analyses

ABC Corrects the Record on Death of Baby

Palestinian Newborn’s Death Not the Result of Israeli Checkpoint

ABC’s World News Tonight reported on July 11 that a pregnant Palestinian woman on her way to hospital was held up at an Israeli checkpoint, leading to the death of her newborn child:

PETER JENNINGS: The Israeli Army says it will investigate the deaths of two Palestinians who died after being held up at army checkpoints. One of the cases involved a woman in labor who was turned back on her way to the hospital. Her newborn baby died.

The Associated Press had reported the incident similarly on July 11, but the next day the AP corrected their report, admitting that a Palestinian doctor had made up the story: the family had not been held up at the Israeli checkpoint, and the baby had apparently died of natural causes.

While AP corrected the story immediately, ABC did not. After contacts with ABC, the network last night also corrected the record:

PETER JENNINGS: And one other note from the Middle East: A Palestinian family has confirmed to us that reports of a newborn baby who died because the mother was held up at an Israeli Army checkpoint are not correct. The baby apparently suffered respiratory failure en route to the hospital. (World News Tonight, July 24, 2001)

AP and ABC were right to set the record straight; those media outlets that have not yet published a correction should do so immediately.

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