Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Out of TIME?

Readers may remember my article about TIME magazine a couple of months ago. I expressed surprise that TIME's reporter could have interviewed the Uzbek warlord, General Dostum, in Afghanistan for a major feature published in February this year. General Dostum, I remarked, had been living in Turkey since December last year.
What's more, much of the article by their Afghanistan correspondent appeared to be cannibalised from an earlier article she wrote in December last year. Some of the text was simply cut and pasted from one article into the other.
After I contacted the magazine, their PR person was directed to release a statement to me. It was brief and to the point: "Aryn Baker, who reported and wrote the article about Afghan warlords in the current issue of TIME, stands by her reporting that, according to General Dostum, Dostum’s men and government officials, Dostum is not in exile in Turkey but is there only to receive treatment for an unspecified condition before returning shortly to Afghanistan."
Quite how Ms Baker could stand by an article that was inaccurate and did not mention that Dostum was not in the country is beyond me. However, I published my piece and waited. And waited.
Last week I wrote to TIME again and asked if they still stood by their report, bearing in mind that the General is still in Turkey and shows no sign of coming home. (According to several sources, Dostum has been told he is not welcome to return to Afghanistan and is unlikely to do so in the near future. He has known this for some time and complained bitterly to anyone who will listen that he was tricked into leaving the country.)
So far I have received no response from TIME.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm a journalist at the participative web site I have a few questions about that piece. Do you think you could contact me at observers AT