Thursday, September 27, 2007

Reuters Reporter Quotes Himself

Did Reuters reporter Noor Mohammed Sherzai ever take a class in journalistic ethics? If so, perhaps he slept through it, as his article today uses himself as a quote.

Sherzai writes today that US troops fired towards a crowd in Afghanistan. However, the only quote that he is able to produce to substantiate his accusations is from himself. He writes,
"I saw the fire brigade vehicle rushing to the area at top speed. Somehow its brakes failed and hit one police vehicle and coalition vehicles, then the Americans started firing," said Reuters correspondent Noor Mohammad Sherzai.

Sherzai does allow an American officer, Major Joe Klopple to state that the shots were fired in the air as warnings to disperse the crowd and avoid injury to anyone present, but he then goes right back to his meme that U.S. troops were attempting to injure these innocent civilians. And to support his argument, he uses his favorite source- himself! He writes,
Sherzai and other reporters at the scene said many shots were fired and Afghan police were among those fleeing the scene.

"I was running away as fast as I could, but some of the police overtook me," Sherzai said. The police, he said, "were very angry because the Americans were shooting and wanted to shoot back but others stopped them".

Only after extensively quoting himself does Sherzai allow another witness to interject his own recollections.

Somehow I cannot think that this is acceptable behavior in professional journalism. However, since Reuters has loing since thrown any pretensions of objectivity or professionalism out the window when it comes to covering American troops, I am sadly unsurprised by this latest manifestation of same. Hat tip to NewsBusters reader Jammie Wearing Fool. Cross-posted on NewsBusters.

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