Why the US media is failing the world: The ‘Zia Records’ of audio journalism
The world’s leading news organisation is failing to cover up a scandal involving the abuse of power in Afghanistan.
The New York Times and BBC were among those to report the story, which was based on leaked audio of the Afghan government’s top political official, Mohammad Zahir.
The leak was reported by the Afghan news website Fars News Agency, which reported on Friday that Zahir was being questioned by police over a corruption case.
The BBC’s World Service and BBC Newsnight aired the story on Saturday.
The US State Department said it was investigating the allegations, and that it would provide “all appropriate assistance”.
The Afghan government said it would investigate the reports.
The Times and the BBC have said they are “not aware” of any formal investigation.
In a statement on Friday, the Times said it did not know of any investigations.
It said it had received “serious concerns” about the reporting of the story.
It added that the news service “did not act independently of the Kabul government”.
The BBC said it “did no investigative reporting in Afghanistan and has not reviewed the contents of any material we have received”.
BBC News Night is “working closely with the Afghan authorities to ensure the BBC’s news reporting does not violate any Afghan laws or regulations”.
The Associated Press news agency has also reported that a member of the military intelligence unit responsible for investigating Zahir is a former military intelligence officer.
The AP said the military unit was based in Kandahar and has responsibility for investigating Taliban commanders and high-level officials.
AP news agency