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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Publications aim to make debunking as popular as fake images

Adrienne LaFrance and Matt Novak live in different cities and write for different sites in the Gawker Media network. LaFrance is a freelancer who contributes to several other publications. Novak works full-time on his blog, Paleofuture, which is part of Gizmodo.

She often writes about tech and media. He writes about past visions of the future.

Despite the differences, LaFrance and Novak recently converged on the same idea: debunking hoaxes and misinformation as a regular feature.

LaFrance writes the Antiviral column for Gawker, which carries the headline “Here’s What’s Bullshit on the Internet This Week.” She identifies trending misinformation and new hoaxes and digs into them to reveal what’s fake.

Novak’s debunking effort, which appears roughly monthly, focuses on calling out fake images.… Read more

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This correction from the U.K.’s Ayrshire Post was probably long awaited by one Mr. William Scott:

 

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Slate offers up a classic misquote correction:

This post originally quoted photographer Tom Sanders as saying it takes him five years to get on the dance floor. It takes him five beers.

Hat tip to Matt Novak.

Slate

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Rejoice! Gawker’s King Max rejects the strikethrough correction with good reason

Max Read recently took over as the editor of Gawker and — drunk with power — he laid down the law regarding corrections.

In a memo blogged by Poynter’s Andrew Beaujon, Read’s new policy is notable for what it tells writers not to do:

For corrections, rather than strikethrough, change the wording and link from there to a comment noting the corrected text, as Tom does here: http://gawker.com/thanks-ill-correct-it-and-link-down-to-this-correctio-1554296985.

Ah, the strikethrough. As something of an old fogie blogger (since 2003 y’all!) I have an affinity for using strikethrough as a way to offer a quick correction.

The strikethrough is great because it’s an efficient and contextual way to show readers you messed something up, to be clear about what it was, and to also show where it happened.… Read more

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Indian paper the latest to offer a cutting pseudo-correction

Journalist Aakar Patel has made a habit of needling Indian politician Shri Narendra Modi.

Just yesterday, Patel’s column in the Mumbai Mirror about the Indian elections included a satirical letter of apology credited to Modi.

Then today Patel offered up his own pseudo-apology to Modi in the form of a satirical “clarification.” It was spotted and tweeted by Ashish Shakya, a comedian and humor columnist for the Hindustan Times:


The text reads:

A Clarification

For the last 12 years we have been writing about the chief minister of Gujarat as being responsible for the happenings in his state.

We called him a communalist with no grip on his administration. A man unable to curb violence against thousands of citizens, and who showed laxity in prosecuting its perpetrators.

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The Washington Post issued a correction after stripping Jesus of his title as founder of the Roman Catholic Church:

Articles on April 25 and 26 about Pope Benedict XVI said that St. Peter was the founder of the Roman Catholic Church. According to the church, Jesus was the founder.

Correction: This Post correction was originally published in 2005. It was my fault to not verify the date before publishing. I saw it tweeted this morning and should have done that before assuming it was recent. My apologies.

Hat tip to Dave Weigel

Washington Post

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A lady stands in front of an electronic display showing live information of flight positions according to predicted time and flight duration calculations at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Sunday, March 16, 2014 in Sepang, Malaysia. Malaysian authorities Sunday were investigating the pilots of the missing jetliner after it was established that whoever flew off with the Boeing 777 had intimate knowledge of the cockpit and knew how to avoid detection when navigating around Asia. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

Why the press can’t help but speculate about the missing Malaysia Airlines flight

Did you hear?

A piece of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 was spotted by the Vietnamese Navy. The plane made an emergency landing in Nanning, China. It may be in North Korea. Or taken over by Iranian terrorists. No, it just completely vanished.

If you want to know how much people are thinking and obsessing about a story, just count the rumors labeled as reporting, the baseless “expert” punditry, and the conspiracy theories it inspires. By that measure, the missing jet is occupying more of our collective consciousness than any other story in the world right now. (Take that, Putin.)

It’s a global story due to the fact that it connects so many countries thanks to the departure and destination locations, and all of the nationalities represented by passengers and its flight path.… Read more

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U.K. paper apologizes for misattributing ‘goat war’ comments

The Argus, a paper based in Brighton, England, would like to apologize for suggesting that the director of the Brighton Science Festival believes the “21st century will be remembered for a terrible war between mankind and goats.”

A goat in Washington, D.C., last August, perhaps making diabolical plans. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

That contention, as well as another goat-obsessed comment, actually came in the form of a question submitted by a reader.

The paper today published an apology to repent for the misattribution:

For the record, here’s how festival director Richard Robinson replied to the goat question:

The reassurance provided by a purely objective, existentialist view of life is that one can view with equanimity the scenario in which we humans are displaced by almost any other animal on the planet, including goats.

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Keyboard and Wait button, work concept_depositphotos

Anthony De Rosa on verifying news: ‘I take in a lot and I put back out very little’

If some information is already out there, do you need to say so?

This is a conundrum faced by many journalists, though not everyone sees it as a conundrum.

For example, if media in Vietnam report news about a missing flight that is the subject of reports all over the world, what do you do?

It’s attributed to a fellow news outlet, and an established one to boot. It’s attributed to the local navy. So, what do you do?

Well, that report was false, notes Circa editor-in-chief Anthony De Rosa in “The network effect of bad information,” a piece he wrote for Medium about the benefits of waiting — of not passing along everything you see and hear.… Read more

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Photo debunking accounts spring up to call out viral fakes on Twitter

Paulo Ordoveza says there’s nothing complicated about what he’s doing.

Ordoveza, 37, follows roughly 100 Twitter accounts that share remarkable photos of earth, space, historical moments and other events. Then he calls them out from his @PicPedant handle for tweeting fakes, not crediting the original photographer, and for scraping images.

In a little more than a month his oh-so-simple Twitter account has drawn more than 9,000 followers.

A sample:

 

PicPedant is part of a small cadre of photo debunker accounts that provide a counterpoint to the viral photo feeds that offer an inaccurate, and infringed, view of the world.

Other debunkers are FakeAstropix (1,219 followers), CreditsInPics (287 followers), and Hoaxoffame (324 followers as of this writing), which also has a Tumblr.… Read more

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