Collection: Assoc Press

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Another Highly Misleading Associated Press Report Already Appears on 700 Media Websites

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



{Above: the AP headline. At bottom: the AP reporter, Colleen Barry; will she correct the report]


Read here what Colleen Barry of the Associated Press (image below) falsely claims.

How exactly does a second proven DNA trace of Amanda Knox on the knife prove that Meredith’s proven DNA on the knife wasn’t there?  The correct facts on the three DNA samples were posted here.

Nothing - nothing - that was said yesterday in court affected that. Two samples of Knox and one sample of Meredith on the knife are confirmed. All three are there.

In fact, Judge Nencini leaned hard on the bumbling Amanda Knox lawyer Dalla Vedova to make him stop. Dalla Vedova was repeatedly trying to trap the Carabinieri experts Dr Barni and Dr Berti into saying that Dr Stefanoni did something wrong in her test of Meredith’s DNA.  Judge Nencini had not even instructed the Carabinieri labs to look into that.

Dalla Vedova and Colleen Barry of the AP have apparently forgotten that defense observers were there at the Scientific Police labs test and testified that they saw Dr Stefanoni do nothing wrong. Dr. Renato Biondo, Professor Giuesppe Novelli, Professor Francesca Torricelli, Luciano Garofano, Elizabeth Johnson and Greg Hampikian all confirmed that Meredith’s DNA was indeed found on the blade of the knife..

Judge Nencini clearly believes that firm evidence of Meredith’s DNA is there in front of his court, and that Dr Stefanoni and Judge Massei got it right. Meredith’s DNA really was proven to be on the knife. He would not allow a clumsy red-herring argument from Dalla Vedova which lacked the slightest bit of proof.

Unlike Reuters, the Associated Press is not a public company. It issues no stock.

It is instead a co-operative jointly owned by about 1000 media groups, and its reports are carried on up to 1000 sites. It is financially not very well off, and many of its media owners are in the same boat. The AP and many of its owners are increasingly cutting corners to save a buck. Increasingly they are under-researching, failing to check, and so their viewers and their readers are ending up misled.

Does financial strain excuse the AP for hyperbole and seriously wrong claims, for reprinting of false public relations handouts and false lawyer claims as hard fact? As it has too often done before?

Would it not be better when facts are in doubt and justice on the line to not report at all?


{Below: Colleen Barry of AP Germany was the writer of the misleading piece]


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Dear CEO Gary Pruitt: Could The Associated Press Try To Report Right A Little Harder?

Posted by Peter Quennell





The New York-based Associated Press (headquarters shown at bottom) bills itself as the world’s oldest and largest news-gathering organization.

[From the AP website] More than one billion people look to The Associated Press (AP) for news each day. Founded in 1848, the AP is the world’s foremost information resource with more than 3,700 employees at 242 bureaus worldwide serving 121 countries 24 hours a day, seven days a week via newspaper, radio, television and the Web.

The AP is a co-operative owned by over 1,000 newspapers and, like most of the mainstream media it serves, the AP rather has its back against the wall. From the Wikipedia entry:

The AP lost $14.7 million in 2010 as revenue plummeted for a second consecutive year. 2010 revenue totaled $631 million, a decline of 7% from the previous year. This is despite sweeping price cuts designed to bolster revenues and help newspapers and broadcasters cope with declining revenue.

That image above is of Gary Pruitt. A lot is riding on him to sustain a quality service and deversify in any way he can to pump those revenues back up. Right now, he is a senior media executive in Sacramento, California, but he will become the president and CEO of the AP in two months.

Most Americans hear far more about Meredith’s case from the AP than they do from any other source. Typically the AP sends out a story every few days when the case is live in Perugia. Typically these stories then get posted on 200 to 2,000-pus media websites in the US and around the world.

The AP also sends out many video reports, which are broadcast by the many member TV stations, and the AP also posts them on YouTube. If you search Google Video for “associated press meredith kercher” you will get 30,000 hits, and if you search “associated press amanda knox” you will get ten times that amount.

The AP reports on the case have at times veered to the deeply trivial. Here is a post about Amanda Knox’s 2008 Christmas in prison which included only a single sentence about the real victim Meredith and her family. Within hours it was up on 800 websites.

The AP reports have also at times included seriously wrong facts.  Sometimes it corrects them, sometimes not. Here is a post about a correction of a mistake which appeared on about 2,000 websites. The apology has been removed but the story when posted was inaccurate and it has been re-written to hide that. .

But the real gut problem in AP reporting on the case is one of deep superficiality and of leaving an awful lot unsaid.

Here is a report by the AP cultural and publishing correspondent Hillel Italie (image below) in New York.  It is essentially correct so far as it goes, but it is a good example of the republishing of press releases while leaving an awful lot unsaid.

Here are just three examples of what the AP could have covered in this report and its many other reports but so far hasn’t.

  • All trials and appeals have concluded with a sentencing report in Italian explaining what the reasons of the judges were. The AP has not only done no translation (it has bilingual reporters in Italy); of the reports’ very existence, the AP audience would never know.

  • There is a lot of legal activity just ahead in the Supreme Court appeal against RS and AK and the calunnia and perversion of justice trials. The once-convicted perps are now looking at a formidable new prosecutor, though the AP audience would never know.

  • There has been a costly, huge and highly onesided PR effort which has been unfairly hard on Italy and its justice system and its police and prosecutors and experts, to the point often of defamation, but the AP audience would never know.

Anyone who gets their news on the case only from the AP would essentially know NOTHING of the facts we have advanced in all the recent posts on the books and shortly before that in all the recent facts on the appeal and family trials. They would know only a tiny fraction of the full universe of facts and much of what they do “know” is flat-out wrong. 

Nice going, Associated Press. Your worst performance ever, perhaps? But then, why bother, when only an entire very civilized country and hundreds of its officials and truth and justice are being slimed?

What most Italians know of the details of the case is maybe ten times more detailed and comprehensive and fair and accurate than what most Americans and many Brits know. Italian reporting and interviews and media investigations are very fair. In contrast the AP is proving lazy and sloppy and inaccurate. Not to mention very dishonest.

Mr Pruitt, please ensure that AP reporting learns something from this? Right now, they are falling seriously short. 

[Below: the Associated Press cultural and publishing reporter Hillel Italie in New York]

[Below: part of the main AP press room located on 33rd Street on the west side of Manhattan]

[Below: the AP occupies space in that large square dark building immediately behind the Hudson Rail Yards]


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Inaccurate Report By The Associated Press Carried By Over 2,000 Media Sites Is Now Corrected

Posted by Peter Quennell


Above is one inaccurate headline. The witness Curatolo has NOT been convicted of drug dealing. No reason to be feeling encouraged. .

1) From the original A&P release last Saturday

That Antonio Curatolo, the eye-witness in the park, had already been convicted was maybe mischievously planted by Luciano Ghirga (image below) the hands-on lawyer for Amanda Knox.

Or maybe he just made a mistake. This wrong fact was then widely quoted in commentary and blog posts. Total search hits are over 2,000.

A defense lawyer for Amanda Knox, the U.S. college student serving a 26-year prison sentence for the murder of her British roommate, expressed optimism Saturday that a drug charge conviction of a prosecution witness might help the American in her appeal in Italy.

The defense always maintained that Antonio Curatolo, a homeless man in the university town of Perugia, wasn’t a credible witness, Luciano Ghirga told The Associated Press in Rome.

Perugia court offices were closed Saturday, and officials could not be reached to confirm Italian news reports that Curatolo had been convicted earlier in the week for dealing drugs. It wasn’t immediately known what his sentence was or if he had been jailed….

“We have always said that he was not a credible witness,” Ghirga said, referring to Curatolo. “It was the court that held he was credible.” The drug charge conviction “will be an additional thing to help prove the witness is not credible,” Ghirga said in a phone interview.

2) From the A&P correction issued today.

This release states that Curatolo has NOT been convicted. As of noon New York time on Tuesday the number of sites carrying this correction is less than 1,000.

ROME — In a Jan. 15 story about a prosecution witness in the Perugia murder trial of U.S. college student Amanda Knox, The Associated Press, relying on information from a lawyer, erroneously reported that the witness, Antonio Curatolo, had been convicted on a drug charge. Curatolo has been ordered to stand trial on a drug charge, but has not been convicted.

The defenses are seeming pretty desperate. Understandably so. Luckily for justice for Meredith, in Italy as in the US and UK the defenses cannot use a mere charge against a witness to discredit them on the stand.


Posted on 01/18/11 at 02:58 PM by Peter QuennellClick here to view all my past posts, via link at top left.
Archived in Evidence & witnessesOther witnessesHoaxers - main mediaAssoc PressNews media & moviesTerrible reporting
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Friday, November 05, 2010

Rocco Girlanda’s Very Criticised Book On Knox Is Discussed By A Panel In Rome

Posted by Clander



[left to right: Mangani, Girlanda, Gramaglia, Thomas, Esposito]

On Monday 14 February Yahoo News linked to this post but we suspect Yahoo actually referred to this post which is our many many question (never responded to) to the Amanda Knox apologist Italian MP Rocco Girlanda

Our previous posts on Italian MP Rocco Girlanda’s energetic involvement with Amanda Knox can be found here and here and here.

Rocco Girlanda’s Italian-American Foundation organized a panel discussion of his book “Take me with you - Talks with Amanda Knox in prison” which took place on Tuesday of last week at the Palazzo Marini

Beforehand I had lunch in a bookstore next to Palazzo Chigi. One hour later I realized I had read half of Girlanda’s book. It’s a really easy read. Too easy.

It’s all about “me, me, me and more me.”  Sound familiar?.

Girlanda promotes himself (and his foundation) so much in the book that at a certain point I was not sure if the book was even about Amanda Knox. Girlanda and Knox are using each other.

Less than 40 people in total were present at the discussion. Sitting next to Rocco Girlanda were Giampiero Gramaglia (moderator, not involved in the case); Patricia Thomas (Associated Press), Pina Esposito (SkyTG24) and Cristiana Mangani (Il Messaggero)

Sabina Castelfranco (CBS) could not make it.

The Massei Sentencing Report was never once mentioned and rather extraordinarily it remained unclear throughout whether anyone on the panel had actually read it.

Meredith was first mentioned by name a full 35 minutes from the start of the debate.

I got the impression that Girlanda had read the negative comments about him that have appeared on the Internet - it almost seemed as if he was quoting from some of the comments I had read. His statements were watered-down compared to the stuff I’d heard from him in the last few days.

For example, when Gramaglia asked Girlanda if he thought that Knox was innocent, Girlanda said that he “does not know” and that “thankfully, it is not up to him to decide” reading this from his book.

We’ll see if that’s really his position on the case in the next few weeks.

Not once did he mention in the discussion that he wrote the book/is involved in the case because he thinks that he (or his foundation) has a role in US-Italy relations.

He said he recently purchased 4 laptops. Three were for his eldest children. The fourth one was for AK and he had it delivered to her a while back.

He had met yet again with Amanda Knox just two days before (that must be added to the number of visits) and he gave her a copy of his book.

The panel discussion had opened with a few sentences from Girlanda in which he explained that he started following the case after Senator Cantwell made her “anti-Americanism” claims.

Patricia Thomas stated that those remarks were “ridiculous” and that “anyone who has been to Italy or knows Italy knows they are not true”. In her words, “Italians simply love Americans” (vabbè, mo’ non esageriamo). Her spoken Italian is really good.

Girlanda stated that he is interested in the state of the prisons in Umbria and that is why he went to visit Knox in prison (in his words, his “first visit to AK was the first time I had ever entered a prison”) and that the book was written “by chance” after his numerous encounters with her.

He stressed numerous times that, as an MP, he has the right to visit prisoners.

We were told at the meeting that one American journalist has visited Knox in prison: Patricia Thomas. She was present during Girlanda’s very first visit to Knox.

Patricia Thomas described the prison. She said it is a lot better than many summer camps she had been to when she was younger. The food is amazing and she could not believe that they even have bidets in the cells. She said that she took a lot of flack for writing about this a few months ago.

Girlanda said in response that the men’s section of the prison is not as nice since it is overcrowded. He made no mention of whom he visited in the men’s section, if anyone.

Ms Thomas said she could not believe that Knox’s mom and sister were taking pictures of each other inside the Court (“as if they were tourists inside the Sistine Chapel”) only a few hours before the verdict.

She spoke very highly of the Kerchers. In particular, she spoke of Merdith’s siblings at the press conference after the trial. She described them as “beautiful, well educated and articulate”.

Gramaglia asked the 3 journalists sitting next to him how they would have voted had they been on the jury panel:

Patricia Thomas, who really did not want to answer this question, and showed no familiarity with the Massei report, said that she would have acquitted Knox and Sollecito.

Pina Esposito said that, based on the evidence, Knox and Sollecito are guilty. She would have voted guilty.

Cristiana Mangani, who showed no familiarity with the Massei report, said that Rudy Guede alone killed Meredith and that “Knox and Sollecito are in prison based on NOTHING” (yes, she said “nothing”, NIENTE). So, of course, she would have acquitted.

Ms Thomas said that Knox was “terribly handled by the PR firm and the lawyers”.

She said that in her opinion the lawyer Mr Della Vedova was hired for “opportunistic reasons” and that Mr Ghirga was “like a father who could not control his exuberant kid”.

She said that “AK’s PR efforts” should have focused on Italy and not on the US and she added that “it’s a good thing that this book has come out a few weeks before the start of AK’s appeal”.

At this point, the moderator Mr Gramaglia asks if anyone had any questions.

There was an ANSA journalist sitting in the first row who was really anxious to ask a question after Patricia Thomas made her remark about the book coming out “a few weeks before the start of the appeal”.

First of all he responded to Ms Thomas by saying that her statement that “it is good that this book has come out a few weeks before the appeal” is an insult to the Appellate Court. The ANSA journalist explained to Ms Thomas that the book would have no effect whatsoever on the Court.

He then asked Girlanda how he responds to those who are accusing him of exploiting the case and of being just another “puppy” in Knox’s hands (and by the tone of his voice and how he asked the question, it seemed as if he was one of those making the accusations).

Girlanda replied by saying that the proceeds of the book were going to his foundation and that he would not be involved when the board decides how that money should be spent.

Regarding the puppy comment, Girlanda replied “they can think what they want”.

Suddenly, no more questions were being taken.

[below Associated Press reporter Patricia Thomas who said she would have founnd AK and RS not guilty]


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Perhaps Associated Press Should Try Reporting The Odds?!

Posted by Peter Quennell

Click for larger images. Online polls on whether Amanda Knox will be found guilty. 

Gulp! The odds now [above] have become even more ominous than the odds one year ago [below]. 

Polling is by avid news followers. Probably only a small minority follow Meredith’s case specifically and seek to distort those polls

Obviously the PR campaign is doing a terrific job (!) Obviously the Associated Press is right to take it so seriously (!)

Posted on 12/24/08 at 02:00 PM by Peter QuennellClick here to view all my past posts, via link at top left.
Archived in Hoaxes by KnoxKnox no-PR hoaxHoaxers - main mediaAssoc PressNews media & moviesTerrible reportingThe wider contextsN America context
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Slanted Associated Press Paroting Of Knox PR Campaign Release Achieves Over 800 Google Hits

Posted by Peter Quennell


Click above for Marta Falconi’s rather slanted AP report.

At time of posting it appears on at least 800 news websites. It opens with these paragraphs sympathetic to Knox’s Christmas plight:

The family of an American student accused of killing her British roommate says she is heading into her second Christmas in jail disappointed at a trial delay but “holding up pretty well under the circumstances”.

Knox is planning to attend an in-jail Christmas Day Mass, the family said in a recent statement emailed to The Associated Press.

Visitors are not allowed to bring in wrapped presents, but Knox’s parents are trying to get her “warm sheets, slippers, cold weather underwear, wool socks and a sweater.”

Trial delay? Of course the trial might have happened very much faster if (1) the defendants had not told several differing stories, (2) the crime scene had not been extensively rearranged to make it look like a sole-perpetrator crime, and (3) more and more witnesses had not kept coming forward.

But the AP story does not mention any of this.

It instead implies that the Italian slowness is unfair. But luckily, our plucky heroine “is holding up pretty well under the circumstances.”

Then we get this single sentence - one suggesting cold indifference - on the Christmas plight of Meredith Kercher’s sad, bereft family.

For their part, Kercher’s family will be spending their second Christmas without Meredith.

Finally, to their slight credit, the Associated Press conclude with the prosecutor’s scenario of the crime.

Prosecutors allege that Kercher was killed during what began as a sex game, with Sollecito holding her by the shoulders from behind while Knox touched her with the point of a knife. They say Guede tried to sexually assault Kercher, and then Knox fatally stabbed her in the throat.

Prosecutors say Knox’s DNA was found on the handle of a knife that might have been used in the slaying, while Kercher’s DNA was found on the blade.

For that slight attempt at corrective balance, we reckon Falconi’s story rates an E grade rather than an F.

The AP is notorious for parroting press releases rather than for doing any real digging. American newspapers are relying on it more and more as they cut back on their own reporting operations..

It is the main source for news and analysis of Meredith’s case for most American newspapers. The case reporting has been spasmodic and indifferent at best. To its credit, the New York Times has not usually published the AP releases.

The Associated Press would welcome your feedback on the story here. So would the 800-plus newspaper sites that carried the story.

They do pay for AP’s reporting, of course.


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