On the community journalism website AllVoices, Indian freelance writer Nina Rai has very slightly rewritten Massive Looting of Ancient Artefacts Underway in Libya as Rare Ancient Artifacts Being Looted on Large Scale in Libya: Russian Scholar.
But with twice the churnalists, there’s twice the trouble. Rai’s version has two significant, and worrying, differences: the unreliable witness is presented as (only) an academic; and the only claimant is represented as many.
First, in the Hindu‘s original article, Vladimir Radyuhin did acknowledge that Sologubovsky was not only a ‘scholar’, but also ‘deputy head of a Russian committee of solidarity with the people of Libya and Syria’. In AllVoices’ piece, that line has disappeared. So its hundreds of readers do not even get a hint that Sologubovsky might be a professional publicist, propagandising for the Gaddafi regime (through the Committee of Solidarity with the Peoples of Libya and Syria).
Second, in Radyuhin’s text, Sologubovsky is always (accurately) presented as the only person making these claims. Yet according to the caption of the video of Cyrene and Slonta on the “3rd page” of the article (as the one-page article is published under six videos; and also on a separate page for the video of ancient monuments in Libya), they are ‘[a]ncient monuments in Cyrene & Slonta in Libya which many claim is being looted by NATO forces’. That is simply not true.
Now hundreds of people are reading this twice-distorted story, and interpreting it as a ‘detailed report’, ‘informative news’, an ‘important report’, ‘[a]mazing work’…