It’s a reporter’s worst nightmare: having to retract a story because of a misleading source. And it’s exactly what happened to one of the most respected radio shows on-air, “This American Life.”
Here’s an excerpt from The Verge:
This American Life has retracted an episode that focused on working conditions inside a Foxconn iPad factory, calling the source material “partially fabricated.” The episode — the most popular in TAL history with nearly a million streams — was partially based on the work of artist Mike Daisey, who apparently lied to fact-checkers about his experiences visiting Foxconn’s facility. Some of the lies were discovered during an interview with Daisey’s Chinese translator, who disputed the facts presented in his show and on the air.
A new episode of This American Life detailing the issues and what happened airs later today, with an MP3 of the broadcast available Sunday. Host Ira Glass is taking full responsibility for the error, saying that he’s “horrified to have let something like this onto public radio.”
To listen to this week’s full episode, which is dedicated to the retraction of the story – detailing exactly what happened and how it got on-air – it’s posted here.
Twitter had mixed reactions, but overall seemed pleased that “This American Life” was so quick to run a retraction, making the truth immediately available to their loyal listeners.