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.


Trust

How ‘communicating imperfection’ can increase readers’ trust in journalists

After studying corrections from three newspapers in different parts of the world, Zohar Kampf and Efrat Daskal concluded that journalists don’t “understand the great ethical potential in corrections.”

That sometimes leads to corrections that are “incomprehensible, ambiguous texts, devoid of any significant content or meaning for the readers,” according to their paper, “Communicating Imperfection: The Ethical Principles of News Corrections,” which was published in the journal Communication Theory. Kampf is a professor and Daskal is a Ph.D. candidate in the department of communication and journalism at Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

In an email exchange, they identified the main barrier to effective correction for journalists and news organizations: a culture of shame around errors.

Newspapers shouldn’t be ashamed of errors or fear them, they said. “They are inevitable part of any human conduct, especially one that is restricted with deadlines.… Read more

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An NPR story ended up on the wrong end of cows and their contribution to greenhouse gas emissions:

An earlier version of this story said that the methane emissions associated with livestock come from their farts. In fact, most of those methane emissions come from belches.

Hat tip to Jonathan Eisen

NPR

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John Hamer (John Hamer photo)

Last press council in U.S. will close next month

“It’s a fragile existence,” John Hamer, the executive director and chair of the Washington News Council, told me the last time we spoke.

It was August of 2012, and the WNC had just received its final grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Hamer needed to find new funders.

Funding proved challenging to secure, and the WNC’s board also recently concluded that the organization’s role itself needed to be completely reimagined.

Those factors led to a decision, announced yesterday,  to close the WNC on May 31.

“We had a great 15-year run, and we helped a lot of people who were damaged by media malpractice,” said Hamer, in the announcement. “But the news media have changed tectonically since we began. The eruption of online digital news and information made our mission of promoting high standards in journalism much more difficult, if not impossible.… Read more

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teddy-moose-small

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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