Best of media corrections, 2016 edition
Our annual collection of media corrections is, undoubtedly, an excuse to chuckle at our industry's missteps.
But it's also a recognition of an honorable practice that not everyone follows. Outlets that mark their corrected articles clearly or collect them in one easily searchable section (for example, The Guardian) may be over-represented in this list, but they should be commended.
A note on selection: This is a list of media corrections, not media errors. Barring two errors that were retracted without acknowledgment (boo!), we did not include slip-ups that went uncorrected.
At the beginning of December, The Associated Press had a case of Schrödinger's Hollande (here's the corrected bulletin).
— Loris Zubanović (@LorisZubanovic) December 1, 2016
"Margaret Ritchie is not the MP for Down South as we suggested. Nor is she the MP for Up North. Her seat is South Down" (@guardian today)
— Guardian style guide (@guardianstyle) July 21, 2016
Atlases are underrated. (Mic)
Mr. Diller took the reporter for a ride.
— John Gapper (@johngapper) January 28, 2016
Does this correction mean that Pimpin4Paradise786 is still available? (The New York Times)
Can we find ourselves funny? Why yes, yes we can.
The Guardian asks that you bear with them.
We hope that someone has since inquired about Corbyn's position on a cappella groups. (Huffington Post)
Captions matter — corrections in GIF form help.
@basically_daria As comical as this may be, our team was able to make the necessary correction thanks to your tweet. pic.twitter.com/HcTZSLwIh4
— Hulu Support (@hulu_support) March 10, 2016
Math is tricky. (The New York Times Magazine)
Those dodgy European court cases. (The Times)
Correction of the millennium. pic.twitter.com/Yy7iaHxCnD
— Pádraig Belton (@PadraigBelton) October 28, 2016
Ted Cruz was late to endorse Donald Trump, but not because he endorsed Hillary Clinton.
CORRECTION: https://t.co/40Jby9Vxjf is NOT a site owned by Ted Cruz.
— BBC News US (@BBCNewsUS) January 29, 2016
NOT THE NEW YORKER, TOO!
The New Yorker's famous fact-checking and proof-reading system does occasionally go wrong. pic.twitter.com/ENuBRO0tIg
— Mark Colvin (@Colvinius) November 19, 2016
Not sure we need to know much more about this affair.
— Paul Watson (@paulmwatson) July 14, 2016
Or this matter.
— Roberto Ferdman (@robferdman) May 5, 2016
Turd 2020. (The Daily Beast)
A previous tweet misquoted Joanna Coles's husband. He had been told "she was the rudest woman in London," but did not say so himself.
— NYT Styles (@NYTStyles) July 8, 2016
That's much clearer, thanks. (The Guardian)
Way to take the magic out of Tetris.
— Joonas Linkola (@joonaslinkola) June 28, 2016
Rai News in Italy had to correct its map of the results of the country's constitutional referendum three times over six hours before getting the names of all 20 of Italy's regions correct.
— Alexios (@Mantzarlis) December 5, 2016
Should you be downloading that widget anyway? (Wired)
Some corrections shed light on how reporters work. For instance, "the critic mistakenly watched the first two episodes out of order" seems inexcusable for a TV critic. (h/t @antoniskalog) But a colleague wrote that it's easier than you'd think to make that mistake.
Pre-writing obituaries of ailing global figures is a logical strategy for newsrooms. However, canned obituaries require close editing, which CNN's note on how many U.S. presidents Castro outlived did not receive.
CNN didn't proofread their pre-written Castro obituary before they posted it last night ? pic.twitter.com/8mvLr6Ifnv
— Josh Billinson (@jbillinson) November 26, 2016
Perhaps some wishful thinking in action here. (Vox)
Poverty can be measured in both absolute and relative terms. Just ask the Financial Times.
Some corrections indicate a certain band may not have been that popular with the author. (NPR)
And then there are the corrections that say as much about the corrector as they do about the corrected. For instance:
— Vivian Yee (@VivianHYee) October 25, 2016
The journalist should have gotten it right. But would you have called to ask for this correction? (Irish Times)
Good grief. I'd like to hear the conversation that led to this correction. pic.twitter.com/n2rlNes7Uu
— Alistair McConnell (@ali_mcconnell) October 1, 2016
These dog owners either have an extremely developed sense of humor, or a complete lack thereof.
I've never seen a NYT correction that so aptly captures residents of Park Slope. pic.twitter.com/mZkFUh2T99
— Bobby Allyn (@BobbyAllyn) September 25, 2016
Just a hint of imperial nostalgia in this error. (The Guardian)
Photos get corrected, too.
— Andrew Beaujon (@abeaujon) December 14, 2016
If you're going to make a whole article out of a four-word quote, better get those four words right. (Politico).
Was "pro-terrorist" in the charity's mission statement? (Daily Mail)
Even big-name pundits fall for fake Twitter accounts. (h/t Claire Wardle)
EDITOR'S NOTE: Comments attributed to a Trump campaign spokeswoman were removed from an earlier version of this story at her request after she learned she would be identified by name.
Several Italian newspapers used a photo of an impersonator to accompany news of Bob Dylan's Nobel prize. To this author's knowledge, none has published a correction. (This is not infrequent, unfortunately, but usually it is breaking news stories on terrorist attacks that get wrong photos associated to them).
This NYTimes correction.... pic.twitter.com/1aVnLSCNwk
— Ahmed Shaikh (@bornshaikh) November 23, 2016
When dedicating an article to a presidential candidate's foreign policy inexperience, it is helpful to have a good grip on the main cities in the region involved. Otherwise, you may end up having to correct yourself. Twice.
1. Johnson doesn't know what Aleppo is
2. NYT confuses Aleppo w/ Raqqa
3. NYT corrects, confusing Aleppo w/ Damascus pic.twitter.com/cLcuW64eEP
— Alexios (@Mantzarlis) September 8, 2016
The Express in the United Kingdom ran a error-infested gallery titled "Amazing things we get back if we leave EU." Here's their rendition of the error, our emphasis added:
The gallery was formed of 11 images. Each image carried a caption. The captions for images 3 (eggs), 5 (jam), 6 (water) & 9 (swedes) were inaccurate. In the case of caption 3 (eggs), the caption claimed that "A dozen eggs: In 2010 the EU said that food could not be sold by number but by weight". In 2010 the European Union was considering legislation governing food labelling. In June 2010 Renata Sommer the MEP responsible for steering the legislation confirmed 'There will be no changes to selling food by numbers". In fact a consumer who purchased eggs in the UK would be able to do so by number. Caption 3 (eggs) was therefore incorrect. Given that 4 of the 11 captions were incorrect this gallery has been deleted.