AP Blames Technical Glitch, Human Error For Internal E-mail Release

By: Joe Strupp Associated Press blamed "human error and a technical glitch" for the internal e-mail about coverage of Roman Polanski's arrest Sunday that went out on the AP News Feed.

Paul Colford, the Associated Press' director of media relations, said the internal e-mails between a staffer in Switzerland and his office that concerned coverage of Polanski's arrest there were up for only a few minutes on most news sites, although it lingered on Google News and at some sites, such as Forbes.com.

"It was very quickly swept away," Colford told E&P Monday. "This was an internal message that inadvertently became part of our online news feed on Sunday as a result of human error and technical glitch. It was very quickly replaced by subsequent versions of the news story."

Colford said the e-mail did not go out over the AP Wire, which provides content for news outlets to choose for use in print and online, but through the more direct AP News Feed, which automatically places content on Web sites. "It is more automatically posted and updated on most sites," he said.

Because of that quick updating, he said the email remained on most sites for only a few minutes. "In most cases, it was swept away because the story was being refreshed and refreshed and refreshed during the day."

AP did not issue any formal alert to members about the snafu.


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