AP fires reporter behind erroneous Russia-Poland missile story

False report was based on info from "senior American intelligence official."

Updated: November 22, 2022 - 1:17pm

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The Associated Press has fired the reporter behind a highly controversial news report that alleged a Russian missile strike that killed two Polish citizens within the latter country's borders. 

That report by James LaPorta, which has since been retracted from the AP's website, originally claimed earlier this month that "a senior U.S. intelligence official said missiles crossed into NATO member Poland, where two people were killed."

The missile was subsequently found to have originated from Ukraine, with the AP clarifying that "subsequent reporting showed that the missiles were Russian-made and most likely fired by Ukraine in defense against a Russian attack."

The "senior U.S. intelligence official" was never identified in the reporting. As part of its "news values and principles," the AP says that it "routinely seeks and requires more than one source when sourcing is anonymous," and that "stories should be held while attempts are made to reach additional sources for confirmation or elaboration."

"In rare cases, one source will be sufficient – when material comes from an authoritative figure who provides information so detailed that there is no question of its accuracy," the news wire says.