The New York Times returns to Peabody after finding “significant lies” in “Caliphate” podcast


The New York Times said on Friday that it would return the 2018 Peabody Award for its “Khalifa” podcast, hours after the paper acknowledged that large parts of the audio series did not meet its editorial standards.

Why it matters: This is a shameful error for The Times, which since 2018 invested significant resources in the project. It is also a serious reminder to the journalism industry that large, well-funded institutions can also make costly mistakes.

What they are saying Peabody Awards Executive Director Jeffrey Jones said on Friday evening, “As a standard of quality media, the integrity of the Peabody Awards is paramount and we look at the way the Times has handled the case.”

  • “We will receive the return of the award, recognizing the mutual respect for the long-standing record of journalistic integrity for the mutual integrity of both organizations.”
  • Rukmini Kalimachi, Who hosted the series, wrote in a tweet on Friday: “To our listeners, I apologize for everything I missed and what we did wrong.”
  • The Times’ executive editor Dean Baquet In an interview with the paper’s morning podcast “The Daily”, it said: “When The New York Times does deep, big, ambitious journalism in any format, we overwhelmingly examine it at the upper levels of the newsroom .. .. We did not do this in this case.
  • He admitted that he did not personally provide the same review process for this story as he did in other major investigations, such as the Trump Tax Return piece. “I completely regret that … I personally didn’t pay enough attention to it.”

state of play: The Times added an editor’s note At the top of the pages, which contain elements of “Khalifa”.

  • The paper chose not to delete the episode and the original story and podcast are still listed on the company’s website and podcast platforms.
  • The Times had its own opinion and news sections highlight the events, and Baquet described what happened on “The Daily”.
  • Callimachi has been reassigned, the Washington Post writes.

Quick catch: Earlier this year, news began to arrive that the main man in the “Khalifa” podcast named self-proclaimed ISIS executioner Sharoz Chaudhary had lied about his experience and exaggerated.

The Times conducted an internal investigation following several reports of holes in the central figure’s story.

  • Canadian officials arrested Chaudhary in September, claiming that he made misleading statements about terrorist activities in interviews
  • According to the editor’s note published on Friday, “The wrong description was introduced by Mr. Chaudhary and he did not accept the atrocities described in the ‘Khalifa’ podcast.”
  • “I think this guy we now believe was a con artist,” Baquet said. “I think this is one of those cases where we didn’t hear enough of the stuff challenging the story and the hints that maybe our story wasn’t as strong as we thought.”

Asked if the response “Khalifa’s” lies are retaliated, Baquet told NPR in an interview: “I guess what the parts were about? [Shehroze] Chaudhary and his history and his background. Yes, I think it is. To ensure.”

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