News nets retract Pearl stories


A report by ABC News Sunday afternoon that the dead body of kidnapped The
Wall Street Journal
reporter Danny Pearl had been found in Pakistan proved
erroneous, and the report was retracted, with apologies.

ABC News said it had gotten word from two previously reliable sources before
running the report, including a ranking police official.

Fox News Channel also said it had confirmation that Pearl's body had been
found, and it ran its own report following ABC's, which it later retracted.

MSNBC said it reported only that there were conflicting reports regarding the
discovery of Pearl's body, and it ran the story later that the reports claiming
that the body had been found were false.

Beyond its obvious troubling implications for journalists, the Pearl story
has been a difficult one to cover.

On Friday, numerous news organizations ran reports of an unverified
electronic mail that said Pearl had been killed and of another unverified
contact regarding the payment of a ransom for Pearl.