Saturday, 22 July 2017

NYC Antiquities Dealer Sues WSJ over Story

A New York antiquities dealer, Hicham Aboutaam, is suing the Wall Street Journal for suggesting he and his brother have sold items looted by ISIS. (Sydney Smith, 'NYC Antiquities Dealer Sues WSJ over ISIS Looting Investigations Story' Media Ethics July 22, 2017).
The Wall Street Journal‘s spokesperson Steve Severinghaus told iMediaEthics by e-mail, “The Wall Street Journal‘s article about investigations into the trafficking of material looted by ISIS was thoroughly reported, fair and wholly accurate. We fully stand by the article and will mount a robust defense to Hicham Aboutaam’s lawsuit.” iMediaEthics has written to Aboutaam’s lawyer for more information.
Courthouse News Service uploaded a copy of the lawsuit, which was filed in New York. In the lawsuit, Aboutaam repeats his denial of buying or selling any looted items, and he accuses the Journal of “ignoring months of assiduous attempts to guide and correct [Wall Street Journal] reporters’ misconceptions, misunderstandings, and incorrect assumptions.” [...]
The lawsuit says that the Journal article caused Aboutaam to lose funding, business relationships and business opportunities. Hicham Aboutaam’s Geneva-based brother, Ali, isn’t suing over the article because his business hasn’t been as affected, the New York Times noted.
I wrote at the time that the article appeared largely built on innuendo. Media Ethics has an interesting breakdown of the manner in which WSJ referred to its 'sources'. Certainly a case that will be watched with interest by journlists and bloggers alike.

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