Looks like fake news about President Donald Trump got nine journalists in Tanzania in trouble. The journalists reported a story claiming Trump praised Tanzania’s President John Magufuli, calling him an “African hero.”
The nine Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation journalists, “including celebrated reporter/presenter” Gabriel Zacharia, were duped by the fake story, according to French wire service Agence France Presse.
The story aired on TV but it doesn’t appear to be on the Tanzania Broadcasting Corp. website, iMediaEthics notes.
The head of Tanzania Broadcasting Corp., Ayub Rioba Chacha, issued a statement in Swahili about the fake Trump news, according to Agence France Presse.
Chacha said there was “a lack of professionalism which led to the dissemination of false information.”
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iMediaEthics has written to the corporation to ask how long the suspensions will last, who was suspended, and how the error occurred.
iMediaEthics has also tried to contact some of the journalists in question — Rlizabeth Mramba, Prudence Constantine, Gabriael Zacharia — and the Tanzanian president. We’ve also tweeted Trump for comment
According to All Africa, the fake story was originally published by the site Fox-Channel (not the real U.S. Fox News) and claimed Trump said Tanzanian President Magufuli “is doing a wonderful job” and “should be used as a good example.” That article was headlined, “Trump: Congratulations my namesake President John Magufuli.”
The Fox Channel website doesn’t appear to have any contact, “About Us,” or other identifying information. Its browser tab reads “Daily Dosage of News Updates You Will Never Get Elsewhere!” and article bylines only state “channelfox.” Its web address is fox.usa-radio.com.
The usa-radio.com website identifies itself as “a news website targeted at breaking news and rumors” that is “based in Bronx, New York with offices in 17 countries spread across the continents all over the world.” The most recently published posts on that website are from Nov. 2. iMediaEthics’ e-mail to the website bounced back.