On Sunday we reported how Time magazine in its forthcoming cover story had termed the US president Donald Trump ‘liar in chief.’
The photo of what was being widely circulated as the Time magazine’s cover story was first shared by several prominent names in the American media before the topic started dominating the conversations on several websites.
The photo was then also shared extensively by prominent Indian journalists including Shekhar Gupta and others on social media.
We called up the Time’s London office, which directed us to contact the magazine’s US office. Our journalist in question was then advised to write to the editorial staff for confirmation. Our reporter duly sent an email to Time’s editorial department and is still awaiting a response.
With the benefit of hindsight which by the way is a beautiful thing, we should not have gone ahead with the report until after we had heard back from the magazine.
We have a two-source policy in practice before we decide to put out a story in public domain. On this occasion our reporter felt that the photo was being published on social media by more than two credible names in the media, both in the US and here in India.
Since there have been too many questions raised on the authenticity of the Time’s cover page calling Trump ‘liar in chief,’ we’ve decided to withdraw our original report until we hear from the editorial staff of the magazine confirming its authenticity.
We take our credibility very seriously and, therefore, profusely apologise if flaws in our editorial processes on this occasion have let our readers down.
Like every mistake, we’ve had plenty of learning from our own recent experience and this will no doubt help us be more assiduous in our future newsgathering exercises.