Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ) has deleted and is retracting a story “Yemen’s Dates in Dubai’s Palm” published Jan. 29 on its website and on the platform of our partner Daraj because it failed to meet international standards for documentation and evidence that the organization upholds.
Complaints from a Yemeni businessman mentioned in the story led to a thorough internal review of the story and of the process that brought it to publication. Senior editors met with the journalists who worked on the story and reviewed all correspondence and documentation related to it. Their conclusion was that it went out without proper corroboration and without listening to the businessman involved.
For this, ARIJ sincerely apologizes to subjects in the story, to readers, to our partner, and to Arab journalists and students who have come to trust ARIJ over the past 12 years. ARIJ is proud of its record working with journalists in this region to produce investigative journalism that is professional, convincing, and ethical.
ARIJ stands for transparency and accountability — and that includes us. Ethical journalism requires correction of the record and consequences when errors occur.
This breach has been taken most seriously and examined to insure it will not be repeated. A new written procedure on verifying and fact-checking stories by numerous people has been instituted. Disciplinary measures have been taken against the journalists directly involved in this story.
Finally, ARIJ is contacting news websites that published the story asking them to also delete it.