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To give one example of many, during the Israel-Hamas war that erupted at the end of 2008, our local Palestinian reporter in Gaza informed the news desk in Jerusalem that Hamas fighters were dressed as civilians and were being counted as civilians in the death toll—a crucial detail.A few hours later, he called again and asked me to strike the detail from the story, which I did personally; someone had clearly spoken to him, and the implication was that he was at risk.Whatever the cost, the AP “concluded it had to remain to provide coverage for U. newspapers and the American public.” *** The AP’s justification for its actions is what makes the dueling reports worthy of attention, and not just from historians.Or, to quote the AP’s old associate from the SS: What’s interesting about this affair is “the future, not the past.” The choice faced by the AP in the 1930s—leave with your integrity intact, or stay and collaborate in the name of access—didn’t end with WWII, and is hardly the sole concern of the AP.Yes, we learn, the AP cooperated with the purging of Jews when competitors like refused to accept Nazi dictates and left—but it cooperated only after “resisting,” and it turned out to be for the Jews’ own good: “AP helped them resettle safely to other countries, which allowed all of them to survive the Holocaust that soon followed.” Yes, the AP’s photo office did cooperate on a propaganda project with , the official SS magazine—but we should know that AP executives were “distressed” by this.Did the AP protest the use of its photos in propaganda that fueled genocide?

The argument in the AP’s counter-report is that while mistakes were made here and there, the big decisions were right.

The result, in many cases, is something worse than no coverage—it’s something that looks like coverage, but is actually misinformation, giving people the illusion that they know what’s going on instead of telling them outright that they’re getting information shaped by regimes trying to mislead them.

A good example came to light in 2014, seven decades after the moral confusion detailed in Scharnberg’s report, with the publication of a detailed exposé on the AP’s bureau in North Korea.

It’s a question that affects most news organizations operating today, and one that is almost always answered wrong.

Western news organizations that maintain a presence in countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia, for example, make compromises in return for access and almost never tell readers what those compromises are.

The argument in the AP’s counter-report is that while mistakes were made here and there, the big decisions were right.The result, in many cases, is something worse than no coverage—it’s something that looks like coverage, but is actually misinformation, giving people the illusion that they know what’s going on instead of telling them outright that they’re getting information shaped by regimes trying to mislead them.A good example came to light in 2014, seven decades after the moral confusion detailed in Scharnberg’s report, with the publication of a detailed exposé on the AP’s bureau in North Korea.It’s a question that affects most news organizations operating today, and one that is almost always answered wrong.Western news organizations that maintain a presence in countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia, for example, make compromises in return for access and almost never tell readers what those compromises are.“To date, no records have surfaced to suggest AP objected to such practices at the time,” the report admits.