Regret the Error

Craig Silverman reports on trends and issues regarding media accuracy and the discipline of verification.Stories about errors, corrections, fact checking and verification

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Newspaper corrects: The Pope was Catholic

The (London) Times In its daily roundup of corrections and clarifications, The Times made an important distinction about the religion of former Pope John Paul II (née Karol Wojtyla), whom it said in an earlier column was not an acolyte of the church he led: Karol Wojtyla was referred to in Saturday’s Credo column as “the first non-Catholic … Read More
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Newspaper apologizes for racist Confederate flag ad

The Roanoke Times The (Lexington, Virginia) News-Gazette has apologized after a surge of reader criticism after running a prejudicial ad that makes vague reference to controversy stirred up by the "black race" in connection with the Confederate flag. The ad, which was purchased by area man Raymond Agnor this month to espouse his views on a number of … Read More
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NYT public editor: Pluto selfie correction probably not forthcoming

The New York Times Alas, what might've been the greatest correction to grace the pages of The New York Times will probably never come to pass. That's according to the latest post from New York Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan, who writes that the paper's science desk is unlikely to issue a correction in response to a query … Read More
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The Boston Globe publishes typo of the day

The Boston Globe on Friday afternoon tweeted a typo that will propel you into the weekend on a cloud of, well...read it for yourself: Ed Reinhold, FBI, says FBI has investifarted about 70 leads already. Live Video: http://t.co/nXuiv3rwFm — The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) July 17, 2015 The Globe corrected the typo, but several … Read More
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Diane Rehm apologizes (again) for asking Bernie Sanders about dual U.S.-Israeli citizenship

You'd think that one abject apology was enough. But national radio host Diane Rehm apologized Thursday for the second straight day for relying on an erroneous Facebook posting to wrongly suggest that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) has dual U.S.-Israeli citizenship. Rehm had asked him about that, as if it were a fact, during a Wednesday interview. He quickly … Read More
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Academic research: 'Huge growth' in fact checking by the media

As some wring their hands about a decline in newsroom resources and quality, there’s a “huge growth” in fact checking in the coverage of politics, according to a new academic study. Several thousand papers were delivered at the Midwest Political Science Association conference, including, “Where and Why Do Journalists Fact-Check.” The paper contends that reporters now fact-check politicians … Read More
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Plagiarism questions at Chicago paper owned by a state legislator

Better Government Association Illinois state Sen. Steven M. Landek (D) The Better Government Association (BGA), a Chicago-based investigative journalism nonprofit, has accused the editors of the Desplaines Valley News of plagiarizing numerous stories in a series of unsigned editorials. The co-owners of the paper are Illinois state Sen. Steven M. Landek (D) and former Chicago Sun-Times editorial page … Read More
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How the Rouhani Meter fact-checks Iran’s president from 6,000 miles away

This article was republished with permission by the Duke Reporters’ Lab. Daniel Carp is a senior researcher at Duke University. The capital of Iran’s fact-checking movement is not in Tehran, but Toronto. When Farhad Souzanchi wanted to promote government accountability in his home country of Iran and track the campaign promises of President Hassan Rouhani, his only choice … Read More
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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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UK Guardian retracts key parts of Whisper stories

Wall Street Journal | Guardian Last October, the UK Guardian ran a contentious story alleging that managers of Whisper, a mobile app that is designed to enable users to send messages anonymously, learned that the paper was investigating them and rewrote their terms of service and privacy policies, in possible violation of federal law. Today, the … 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