New York Times clarifies ‘controversial’ MIA article

Newspaper publishes editors' note below online version of the article

The New York Times has printed an editors’ note regarding its article on MIA, which was published on May 27.

Journalist Lynn Hirschberg came under fire from MIA directly for the angle of her piece, with the singer first publishing her mobile phone number on Twitter, and then writing a song attacking her.

An amendment to the article, published today (June 3) on, outlines a section from the original article where MIA has been misquoted.

The amendment says: “While discussing [MIA‘s] efforts to draw attention to the civil war in her home country, Sri Lanka, she was quoted as saying: ‘I wasn’t trying to be like Bono. He’s not from Africa — I’m from there. I’m tired of pop stars who say, “Give peace a chance.” I’d rather say, “Give war a chance.” The whole point of going to the Grammys was to say, “Hey, 50,000 people are gonna die next month, and here’s your opportunity to help.” And no one did.’ While MIA did make those remarks, she did not make the entire statement at the same point in the interview, or in the order in which it was presented.”

“The part that begins, ‘The whole point of going to the Grammys,’ up to the end of the quotation, actually came first. The part that begins, ‘I wasn’t trying to be like Bono,’ and ends, ‘Give war a chance,’ came later in the same interview. The article should have made clear that the two quotations came from different parts of the interview.”

The article saw MIA interviewed in-depth about her links with Sri Lanka, her family and her US visa issues.