NBC News sacks journalist in misleading coverage case

MUMBAI: Facing flak over misleading coverage of Trayvon Martin murder in March, NBC News correspondent Lilia Luciano who was part of the team that covered the incident has been fired.

The case dates back to 22 March when NBC News broadcast an edited segment from a 911 (US‘ national emergency number) call placed by George Zimmerman at the time of the killing of Trayvon Martin.

In the NBC segment in which Luciano was the correspondent, the channel twisted the actual transcript of the call between the Dispatcher and Zimmerman to give an impression that the later was a ‘racist‘. NBC‘s broadcast kept harping on Trayvon Martin’s ethnicity.

The transcript that NBC put out on its show read, "This guy looks like he’s up to no good or he’s on drugs or something. He looks black."

However, the unedited tape shows the following conversation:

Zimmerman: "This guy looks like he‘s up to no good, or he‘s on drugs or something. It‘s raining and he‘s just walking around, looking about."

911 operator: "Okay. And this guy, is he white, black, or Hispanic?"

Zimmerman: "He looks black."

The editing led a media watchdog organisation to accuse NBC News of engaging in "an all-out falsehood".

While NBC News initially refused to comment, the news broadcaster did issue an apology to viewers.

"During our investigation it became evident that there was an error made in the production process that we deeply regret. We will be taking the necessary steps to prevent this from happening in the
future and apologize to our viewers," NBC News said in a statement.

This is the second head to roll as reporter Jeff Burnside from WTVJ in Miami was earlier dismissed.

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