Media

NYT Continues Restructuring After Its Hit Podcast ‘Caliphate’ Turned Out To Be Based On A Scam

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Shelby Talcott Media Reporter
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The New York Times (NYT) is continuing to restructure and make changes after its hit podcast “Caliphate” turned out to be based on an alleged ISIS executioner who apparently made up his entire story, The Washington Post’s media critic Erik Wemple reported on Wednesday.

“Caliphate” was a podcast about Shehroze Chaudhry, a Canadian who claimed he traveled to Syria and became an executioner for the Islamic State before escaping. Canadian authorities accused Chaudhry of making up the story in September and filed criminal charges against him. As a result, the NYT began internal reviews and ultimately retracted the podcast in December 2020.

“The Times found that ‘Caliphate’ gave too much credence to the false or exaggerated accounts of one of its main subjects, Shehroze Chaudhry, a resident of Canada who claimed to have taken part in Islamic State executions,” the newspaper reported in December after its reviews. (RELATED: NYT Retracts Hit Podcast ‘Caliphate’ After Determining Alleged ISIS Executioner ‘Concocted’ His Entire Story)

The newspaper is still dealing with the aftermath of the podcast’s downfall, Wemple noted on Wednesday. Metro editor Cliff Levy is switching positions into an “interim” role, according to Wemple. Wemple added that Levy will oversee Sam Dolnick, the NYT assistant managing editor for the company’s audio section, and Lisa Tobin, an executive producer for NYT audio.

The NYT is also looking for a new Metro editor, Wemple reported. The ultimate goal in this restructuring is to “expand the department’s structure to match its ambitions and growth,” according to a NYT memo cited by Wemple.

“That’s a very good euphemism for *never again being taken in by a hoax,*” Wemple tweeted.

The NYT did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller.