AP fires reporter, reviews sourcing rules after Poland error

New York — The Associated Press has fired a reporter and is reviewing its standards on the use of anonymous sourcing following an “egregious” error in a story about a fatal missile strike that killed two people in Poland.

The national security reporter, James LaPorta, was dismissed after being deemed primarily responsible for a Nov. 15 news bulletin that erroneously said Russian missiles had carried out the strike, according to people at the AP familiar with the decision. They asked for anonymity to talk about personnel matters and internal operations.

In fact, it is widely believed that Russian-made antiaircraft missiles fired by Ukraine were responsible for the deadly encounter in the NATO country.

LaPorta, who had worked at AP since 2020, said Tuesday that “I would love to comment on the record, but I have been ordered by the AP not to comment.”

AP is believed to be the first news organization outside of Polish media to report on the strike itself last week. The error ascribing blame to Russia was particularly damaging because of the danger involved given NATO’s commitment to respond to an attack on a member country.

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