Person Supposedly Interviewed in Recent Mainstream Media Article Has Been Dead for Years


On Thursday, a mainstream media outlet published an article detailing efforts from democrats to purchase Spanish-language radio stations in Florida. However, one of the sources it claimed to interview reportedly died two years ago.

In the article from the Associated Press, the outlet detailed opposition from Cuban listeners in Miami to an effort to buy out some of their favorite stations.

The Latino Media Network, founded by strategists from the presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, reached a deal “to acquire 18 AM and FM stations in ten U.S. cities from Televisa/Univision,” the AP reported.

The deal is still pending approval from the Federal Communications Commission, and many Miami listeners are speaking out against it.

The Miami station in question, Radio Mambi, draws listeners primarily of Cuban heritage. According to the AP, many of them feel this attempted acquisition by The Latino Media Network is an attempt to silence Latinos.

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“We would need to be deaf and blind not to understand the motives behind this buyout,” listener Irina Vilariño said at a news conference according to the AP.

Up to this point, the AP’s report was all well and fine. The outlet seemed to have captured the feelings of many listeners and presented them in a fair manner.

But things went wrong when the AP included a quote supposedly from Radio Mambi host Martha Flores, who died in 2020. Social media users were quick to notice the egregious error, and verified user Giancarlo Sopo shared a screenshot on Twitter.

“I’m so confused by this article,” Sopo wrote. “The AP says it interviewed Miami Radio host Martha Flores on Wednesday, but she’s been dead for two years.

“How the hell did they pull this off? Séance? An ouija board? Did they hire a babalawo to talk to her?”

In a subsequent tweet, Sopo explained Flores was a pioneer in Spanish-language radio, and her death two years ago was reported by many news outlets.

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While it is one thing for a publication to make an honest mistake, it is another to completely misidentify a key interview subject. That appears to be exactly what the AP did, according to a correction that now appears at the bottom of the article.

“This story was first published on June 9, 2022,” the correction said. “It was updated on June 11, 2022 to remove comments erroneously attributed to Martha Flores, former host of a show on Radio Mambi in Miami, one of the stations in the proposed deal.

“Flores died in 2020. The comments were made by another woman. This version of the story removes those comments.”

Does this mistake make you less likely to trust the Associated Press?

Mistakes like this one are a major reason Americans cannot trust the legacy media. It would have taken less than five minutes for an employee to look up Flores and realize she is dead, but neither the reporter nor the editor took the time to do so before publishing the article.

Furthermore, the mistake in this particular article greatly distracts from the issue at hand. Instead of learning about legitimate concerns from Latino radio listeners, readers now must wonder why the AP published quotes it said were from a woman who died two years ago.

Mistakes certainly happen in any profession, but this one could have easily been prevented with just a simple Google search. Americans ought to expect better from a news outlet that is historically one of the most trusted sources.

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Grant is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He has five years of writing experience with various outlets and enjoys covering politics and sports.
Grant is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a bachelor's degree in journalism. He has five years of writing experience with various outlets and enjoys covering politics and sports.