'Newsweek' tightens use of sources

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The Independent US

A chastened Newsweek has announced that it will scrutinise anonymous sources more strictly to prevent a repeat of the magazine's mistaken story about alleged desecration of the Koran at Guantanamo Bay.

In a letter to readers, Richard Smith, Newsweek's chairman and editor-in-chief, formally apologised for the Koran report, which the magazine had retracted, and promised to raise the magazine's standards for anonymous sourcing.

"We got an important story wrong," Mr Smith admitted. "We must redouble our efforts to make sure that nothing like this ever happens again." Two senior editors will have to approve the use of such unidentified sources for articles, while Newsweek will stop using the phrase "sources said", the attribution of the item in the magazine's "Periscope" section in the 9 May issue.

The report drew complaints from the White House and was blamed for riots in Afghanistan.