A picture is worth a thousand words and sometimes 999 of the words are wrong.
This tweet raced across the Internet this week. It showed a boy “all alone” in the desert, fleeing the violence of Syria. It was based on a picture distributed by a U.N. agency.
— Andrew Harper (@And_Harper) February 16, 2014
Not dramatic enough? CNN International anchor Hala Gorani ratcheted up the drama a bit. It wasn’t wrong, just misleading in its utter lack of context.
Acc to UNHCR, little Marwan was found in in Jordan desert w possessions in plastic bag; was later reunited w family. pic.twitter.com/rAUIx82Vxm
— Hala Gorani (@HalaGorani) February 17, 2014
He had become separated from his parents and was left to fend for himself. U.S. news organizations, including NBC Nightly News last night, picked up the story and ran it unchecked.
The original story said the young boy was later reunited with his family, thanks to the help of U.N. workers.
It wasn’t that hard, the family was about 20 steps ahead of him.
Here's some context on the Marwan story from yesterday. Separated but not alone. pic.twitter.com/CuuOyxLQZM
— Jared Kohler (@JaredKohler) February 18, 2014