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The conservative daily Sankei Shimbun admitted Tuesday that its article published Saturday on the chaos in top management at the rival Asahi Shimbun following its misreporting scandals actually involved reportage shortcomings of its own.

On its Tuesday morning issue, the Sankei carried a retraction and an apology, saying it used “outdated” comments taken from journalist Shoko Egawa about the Asahi’s treatment of ex-President Tadakazu Kimura. The Sankei then modified the article by grabbing newer comments by Egawa from Twitter — without her permission.

The article in question was about how Kimura declined to assume the chairman’s position at the liberal daily after stepping down to take responsibility for the paper’s erroneous reporting on the “comfort women” issue as well as on the transcript of a government interview with Masao Yoshida, the late head of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

Egawa’s initial remarks had become old by the time they were published because she was interviewed before Kimura decided not to take the new post, the Sankei explained, adding that it should have contacted Egawa again for fresh comments.

The Sankei article appeared the day after new Asahi President Masataka Watanabe vowed to rebuild trust in the embattled paper by widening the range of views expressed in its pages, correcting erroneous information in a timely manner and being more careful with investigative stories.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
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