Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Halifax Chronicle Herald retracts refugee story after public outcry

The Globe and Mail's Simon Houpt writes:
"The publisher of Nova Scotia’s largest newspaper apologized on Monday after one of its stories ignited a firestorm with unverified allegations that young Syrian refugees had attacked fellow students at a Halifax elementary school.
"The Halifax Chronicle Herald story, which alleged numerous acts of playground abuse at Chebucto Heights Elementary School – including an incident in which one “refugee boy” choked a girl in Grade 3 with a chain while yelling 'Muslims rule the world,' and another in which 'refugee students' threatened others on the soccer field – was published online late Friday and in the paper’s Saturday edition. It suggested school administrators had responded weakly to the alleged abuse.
"After criticism on social media, editors removed some details from the online story, including the religious reference and the mention of the chain, and softened the original headline, prompting some critics to complain the paper was bowing to 'political correctness.' But on Monday the entire article was removed from the site and replaced with a lengthy editor’s note, which also ran in the paper, saying the piece had 'needed more work.'”
The story also notes that " the paper’s staff has been on strike for 12 weeks, with many inexperienced reporters taking their place."

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