New Guinea tribesmen sue The New Yorker

Forbes reports that a group of New Guinea tribesmen are suing The New Yorker, famed for its rigorous fact-checking, over a story depicting them as raping, pillaging, murderous pig thieves. Jared Diamond, the renowned geographer, wrote the story, "Vengeance Is Ours," for the April 21, 2008, issue. A two-page complaint filed in New York State ...

Forbes reports that a group of New Guinea tribesmen are suing The New Yorker, famed for its rigorous fact-checking, over a story depicting them as raping, pillaging, murderous pig thieves. Jared Diamond, the renowned geographer, wrote the story, "Vengeance Is Ours," for the April 21, 2008, issue.

A two-page complaint filed in New York State Supreme Court on April 20 seeks $10 million from the New Yorker's publisher, Advance Publications, claiming Diamond's story falsely accused Wemp and fellow tribesman Isum Mandigo of "serious criminal activity" and "murder."

Diamond is a best-selling author and winner of a National Science Medal and the MacArthur Foundation's "genius award." But Wemp has some academic backing of his own. Rhonda Roland Shearer, director of the New York City-based Art Science Research Lab, whose media ethics project, stinkyjournalism.org, will soon release a 40,000-word study on Diamond's story.

Forbes reports that a group of New Guinea tribesmen are suing The New Yorker, famed for its rigorous fact-checking, over a story depicting them as raping, pillaging, murderous pig thieves. Jared Diamond, the renowned geographer, wrote the story, "Vengeance Is Ours," for the April 21, 2008, issue.

A two-page complaint filed in New York State Supreme Court on April 20 seeks $10 million from the New Yorker’s publisher, Advance Publications, claiming Diamond’s story falsely accused Wemp and fellow tribesman Isum Mandigo of "serious criminal activity" and "murder."

Diamond is a best-selling author and winner of a National Science Medal and the MacArthur Foundation’s "genius award." But Wemp has some academic backing of his own. Rhonda Roland Shearer, director of the New York City-based Art Science Research Lab, whose media ethics project, stinkyjournalism.org, will soon release a 40,000-word study on Diamond’s story.

Shearer dispatched researchers to New Guinea and interviewed 40 anthropologists to fact-check Diamond’s story with a fine-tooth comb. The result, as summed up by the report’s working title: "Jared Diamond’s Factual Collapse: The New Yorker‘s Papua New Guinea Revenge Tale Untrue."

TNY stands by the story. No word from Pulitzer-Prize winner Jared Diamond yet, though. 

Annie Lowrey is assistant editor at FP.
Tags: Law, Media

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