Posts by Craig Silverman

About Craig Silverman

Craig Silverman (craig@craigsilverman.ca) is an award-winning journalist and the founder of Regret the Error, a blog that reports on media errors and corrections, and trends regarding accuracy and verification. The blog moved to The Poynter Institute in December 2011, and he joined as Adjunct Faculty. He also serves as Director for Content for Spundge, a content curation and creation platform used by newsrooms and other organizations. Craig has been a columnist for the Toronto Star, Columbia Journalism Review, The Globe And Mail and BusinessJournalism.org. He’s the former managing editor of PBS MediaShift, and was part of the team that launched OpenFile.ca, a Canadian online news start-up. His journalism and books have been recognized by the Mirror Awards, National Press Club, Canadian National Magazine Awards, and the Canadian Online Publishing Awards.
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Quartz experiment: Shades of gray distinguish facts from hearsay

As of Sunday night, there remained many unknown elements about the over-the-top subscription service that HBO will launch this year. CEO Richard Plepler confirmed back in October that the premium cable channel would offer the service in 2015. But what would it be called, when would it launch, and on what device(s)? Quartz writer Adam Epstein wanted to do … Read More
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The lesson from the dress color debate that every journalist needs to know

Yesterday’s insane Internet debate over the color of a dress offers a critical lesson that every journalist must incorporate into their daily work. This lesson has nothing to do with viral content, fashion, BuzzFeed, social media, the future of media, Tumblr, or audience engagement. Many of us looked at a very simple photo of a dress and … Read More
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Move quickly, keep it simple and other tips for debunking

I recently completed a research project that saw me spend several months studying how news organizations handle online rumors and unverified claims. I also examined best practices for debunking online misinformation. This work, which was the focus of my fellowship with the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, is collected in a report I published this week. Read More
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The year in media errors and corrections 2014

Correction of the Year This New York Times correction combines Kimye, butts and a writer treating a fake news website and a fake radio station as real. Bravo: An earlier version of this column was published in error. That version included what purported to be an interview that Kanye West gave to a Chicago radio … Read More
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11 years later, Idi Amin's son objects to Guardian obit for his father

Ugandan dictator Idi Amin died over a decade ago, in August of 2003. Like news organizations all over the world, The Guardian published an obituary that told the story of how Amin grew up, came to power and then led with a bloody, iron fist. (As noted in the obit, the International Commission of Jurists in Geneva estimated the death toll … Read More
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New York Times column used quote from fake news site 'without attribution'

A late entry for 2014's Correction of the Year comes from The New York Times. It features an early version of a column published in error; a quote taken from ludicrous article in a fake news website that was treated as real and used without attribution; and a reference to a non-existent Chicago radio station with the call … Read More
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Toronto newsweekly falls short on Buffy The Vampire Slayer trivia

Toronto's NOW magazine had to issue a correction due its lack of Buffy The Vampire Slayer knowledge: This article originally stated that Joyce Summers, the mother of Buffy The Vampire Slayer's titular character, succumbed to a cancerous tumour. As pointed out by Queen's Park Briefing's John Michael McGrath, Summers in fact died from an aneurysm [sic] that resulted … Read More
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Amazing name leads to amusing Huffington Post correction

A Huffington Post story about a woman with an awesome name ("Cherries Waffles Tennis") and her brush with the law resulted in an amusing correction: CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Tennis was arrested for allegedly making "fraudulent purposes." Clearly that is neither a crime nor a statement that makes any sense. She was arrested for … Read More
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NYT corrects: Bald eagles' poop isn't purple

A New York Times correction delves into the nitty gritty of bald eagle and osprey poop: An earlier version of this article described bald eagles and ospreys incorrectly. They eat fish, and their poop is white; they do not eat berries and excrete purple feces. (Other birds, like American robins, Eurasian starlings and cedar waxwings, do.) … Read More
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BuzzFeed's Ben Smith: 'We didn't fully think through' the removal of old posts

Several months ago, roughly half a dozen early BuzzFeed writers were told to go back through their pre-2012 work and decide what they wanted to save. Anything they didn't want to keep or update should be removed from the site, they were told. “Go through your stuff and save what you care about,” is how BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith summarizes the direction. The … Read More
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Bear attack foiled by Justin Bieber's music: A story too good to check

Just after 12 pm on Tuesday, a story started picking up some serious online momentum. In the span of about an hour, it appeared on the websites of The Week, Elite Daily, the Daily Mirror, the New York Post, Mediaite, an ABC affiliate, among others. Here's how the New York Post's story began: Even … Read More
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The Wall Street Journal fails 'Monsters of Greek Mythology 101'

Someone at the Wall Street Journal can't tell a Minotaur from a Cyclopes. As a result, the paper published a monstrous correction this week: The Minotaur is a monster in Greek mythology that is part bull, part human. A travel article in Saturday's Off Duty section mistakenly called it a one-eyed monster. Read More