Corrections Process


GAH: BuzzFeed launches new corrections policy, free style guide

How do you correct a listicle?

If you’re Shani Hilton, this is the kind of thing you have to think about. Her official title at BuzzFeed is deputy editor-in-chief, but internally she’s also known as Keeper of the Standards. She is their Gandalf of style, standards and corrections.

So, right, how do you correct a listicle? You can go read for yourself as of today. Hilton came up with a new corrections policy that just went live online as part of BuzzFeed’s public release of its Style Guide. It’s free for anyone to access.


One part of the new BuzzFeed corrections policy, which was first implemented about six weeks ago, is that the correction’s tone should match with the type of content it’s being added to. Read more

Correct Not Incorrect

How NowThis News handles multi-platform corrections

Not long after the Newtown shootings last December, Ed O’Keefe was in the NowThis News newsroom when a Facebook profile some claimed to be the shooter’s circulated on social media and via some news organizations. The profile was Ryan Lanza’s; the gunman turned out to be his brother, Adam Lanza.

“I remember very distinctly standing up in the newsroom and saying something doesn’t smell right,” O’Keefe told me in a recent phone interview.

O’Keefe is the editor-in-chief for the video news startup funded by Lerer Ventures and others. The Newtown shootings came when NowThis was just one month old.

“We are a new news brand,” O’Keefe said. “We cannot afford the luxury of commonplace mistakes. I don’t think that the big news brands can either, but in particular who’s going to possibly believe a new news organization if they’re tripping all over themselves making silly mistakes? Read more

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Washington Post clarifies practices and standards for corrections

In an email to staff this morning, The Washington Post clarified its practices and standards for online corrections. The email was signed by three top editors, including Executive Editor Marty Baron, and was a succinct expression of the paper’s method for adding corrections online. 

The full memo follows, with some context and commentary from me.

In an effort to ensure that errors online are corrected as quickly as possible, we want to clarify our standards in this area and announce some changes to the process.

* We are committed to accuracy and transparency. We generally revise the story to make it accurate AND append a correction to the file. Typically, online corrections read like this: “Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported …”

It always boggles my mind when I see an online article that has a correction but that also leaves the mistake within the text of the story. Read more


BBC launching an online corrections page reports today that the BBC will soon introduce an online corrections page.

The news came in an announcement from the BBC Trust that it is launching public consultation on its complaints process. The goal is to introduce changes that “improve the clarity and efficiency of the process, making it faster, simpler and easier to understand,” according to the Trust.

The corrections page was one of three related changes the BBC announced:

  • Create a corrections and clarifications page on the BBC website;
  • Appoint a ‘Chief Complaints Editor’ within the BBC to coordinate complaints handling activity across the BBC Executive, ‘fast-tracking’ specific complaints if necessary; and
  • Establish a guide informing people where to complain (both within the BBC and externally).

I previously advocated for news organizations to create and maintain dedicated online corrections pages. Read more