Saturday, March 23, 2013

the ap picks up the fake story of gay man being executed...

earlier this week, i wrote about how the somali story of a gay man being executed might really be a fake.  check it out;

last night, i talked to hadiyo jim’ale, who runs the support group “queer somalis,” which has people all over the country and whom all agreed this story is fake. according to the somali press, this took place in baraawe. baraawe is small town about fifty miles from the somali capital, which is one of the only places where al-shabaab have control near mogadishu, and you hear about everything that happens. and this, according to the sources, did not happen. 

in the meantime, the associated press, one of the largest news agencies in the world, has picked up the story of somali young man who has been executed. but it looks like the ap published the story from the story that was already published in somali a week earlier. in other words, the ap writer just picked up this story from "local" (it was never published in print in somali, but only on websites), which in this case only applies to the language.

further, the associated press articles makes things even murkier because it says that a “militant official and a Somali resident say al-Shabab fighters have stoned to death a man for carrying out a homosexual sex act” (guled, 2013, para. 1). 

to spice up the story, and to make it even more sensational, concluded the story with a quote from a conservative religious leader in mogadishu by referencing that one “strict reading of Islamic law, he said, is that a married man who engages in a homosexual act should be killed” (para. 5). 

so, the ap picks up the story of a 13-year-old being raped and his rapist being stoned to death (the ap article doesn’t mention age). but subscribes the story to homosexuality, and even interviews a conservative dude to get that one going.

ladies and gentleman, welcome to the 21st century where the ap has pretty much become a tabloid. 

the real problem with news agencies like the ap today is that they are too large. the ap has over 3000 "journalists" in nearly 300 locations globally. some of these places, like somalia, have no local standards for journalists... because they don't even have functional organizations to control, manage, or reward their journalistic work.

ap story: guled, a. (2013). “Somali Rebels Stone to Death Man for Sexual Act”. retrieved from;