Labor & Employment

NBC staffers are told to review news policy manual after Brian Williams is put on leave

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An NBC announcement this week that the network is suspending Nightly News anchor Brian Williams without pay for six months for embellishing an account of his Iraq war coverage in 2003 isn’t just having an impact on viewers.

Fellow NBC News employees have been given until Friday to confirm in writing that they have reviewed the network’s 83-page policy manual, NBCUniversal News Group Policies and Guidelines, reports the Robert Feder blog.

It defines accuracy, the blog post notes, as “ensuring all of the facts are correct and presenting them in their proper context. Accuracy and fairness are fundamental principles of journalism. As we routinely rely on information and pictures coming from other traditional and nontraditional sources, we must verify their accuracy and authenticity and ensure fairness, because we are responsible for everything we air or publish.”

An investigation by NBC is ongoing to determine whether Williams may have exaggerated the facts in other news reports, such as his claim to have seen a body floating past his New Orleans hotel during Hurricane Katrina.

Related coverage:

New York Times (reg. req.): “Brian Williams, Retreading Memories From a Perch Too Public”

Wall Street Journal (sub. req.): “NBC Suspends ‘Nightly News’ Anchor Brian Williams for Six Months”

See also:

Poynter Institute: “Photos show Brian Williams’ New Orleans hotel was surrounded by water”

Washington Post (reg. req.): “Brian Williams perhaps ‘misremembered’ dangers of Katrina, hotel manager says”

Yahoo News: “Brian Williams’ account of seeing dead body float by hotel during Katrina ‘very suspect,’ commander says”

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