Home > accuracy > It’s your turn to find an error

It’s your turn to find an error

The credibility of the news media is hurt by errors, both big and small. A study by Sacred Heart University in 2008 said Americans see bias in the media. Only 32 percent believe the media is fair. A Pew Research Center for the People & the Press said only 19% believe what is printed in the daily newspaper. That’s down from 25% in 2000. Clark Hoyt, the New York Times ombudsman, said: “A newspaper has to get the big things right, but it also has to pay fanatical attention to thousands of details every day to prevent the kinds of mistakes that start readers wondering, ‘if they can’t spell his name right, what else is wrong with the story.'”

Take a look at Craig Silverman’s report from the Newseum on errors. Silverman tracks errors in a popular Regret the Error blog. Some may seem minor, but look at this correction from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 

Your assignment: Find an error in a newspaper or on a news Web site. Bring a printout or a copy of the newspaper with the error marked. Attach to the error: a short note with your name and how you think the error happened. Tell me what could have been done to fix or avoid the error. This is due at the beginning of class on Thursday, Feb. 5.  

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