As of the beginning of last week, The Post had a backlog of hundreds of
correction requests, a few dating to 2004. In many cases, readers never
heard whether The Post had rejected their request, or why. For them, it
was like sending a correction request into a black hole.
The newspaper’s process for handling correction requests has not
worked properly. In some instances, reporters were never even notified
that readers had requested corrections to their stories.
There is little statistical analysis to spot trends in errors or to
detect reporters (or editors) with high correction rates. As the saying
goes, what gets measured gets fixed.
This is whythe stylebook argument is bullshit. It’s why canting about how bloggers have no standards is really, really bullshit. The standards are different everywhere. It works differently everywhere. The way I used to do corrections was that somebody would call me up screaming about something I’d screwed up, and I’d have to go to my editor and tell him I’d screwed up, and then write the damn correction myself. It’s why I remember all of them word for fucking word. God, I hated writing corrections. I’d give anything not to even know about them.
2 thoughts on “Journalism Ethics Panel”
Maaan, the standards argument issuch BS. The internet isa tough room. If you’re writing serious, fact-driven stuff, you have to be on your game like a vaudevillian in Peoria. I have like three readers, and evenI get called on stuff when I egregiously screw up. Usually that means someone’s fixing my math for me because I’ve gotten the right answer more or less, but dropped a zero somewhere, or something…
Interro, seriously, I get more feedback here in a day than I got in a week at my old job, and I went from having one editor to having up to 2,500, depending on how many people stop by.
Weirdly, though, I got more hatemail at my old job. My Southtown columns still are usually good for at least one diehard Bush-humper calling me delusional.
If they’d all just sack up and admit that there is no Universal Standard so much as a confederation of loosely adhered-to conventions any one of them is free to violate at any point without consequences of any kind, I’d have more respect for their bullshit.
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