Home > accuracy > Errors hurt news media credibility

Errors hurt news media credibility

The best journalists take accuracy seriously. They understand that sloppy mistakes hurt the credibility of the news organization with its readers.   Even the best newspapers make mistakes. But many of the errors can be prevented. Read this post on 36 corrections that The New York Times published in one day recently.    Then read the column by Andrew Alexander, the Washington Post’s ombudsman, on an embarrassing error inserted into a story by a copy editor. Finally read the column in Columbia Journalism Review by Craig Silverman, author of “Regret the Error.”

Your assignment: Find a mistake in a newspaper or news Web site (not a personal blog – it has to be a legitimate news Web site). Bring in a printout or copy of the article.  Attach to it a typed note (no more than one page) by you answering these questions: What did you think of the mistake? How could it have been avoided? Was it hard to find an error? Have you ever made a mistake that required a correction? What is your reaction to the readings linked to in this blog post? Do they make you think any differently about credibility of the media? The New York Times? The Post?  What can you – as a reporter/editor/student journalist – do to reduce the number of errors in your work? This is due at the beginning of class on Tuesday, Feb. 23. You do not need to post comments on the blog this week – simply turn in the error and your typed note.

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Categories: accuracy
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