Righting online errors

Posted: April 4, 2008 in Bermuda, media

The local media are pretty good these days about running corrections – at least in print. But what about the online version of the copy. I had occasion to ask The Royal Gazette to run a correction this week, which they duly did – but the incorrect version lives on online, as I suspect many others do. The result is that this incorrect fact will no doubt be taken as gospel by subsequent readers and continue to be repeated, requiring another printed correction and so on. Surely the advantage of the web is that things can be changed quickly – so why, when an error has been acknowledged can at least the online version of a story be edited? Many other online news sites either insert clearly marked corrections, have clearly-designated correction areas on the home page or add the correction at the foot of the story. Some media sites are touchy about changing “archived copy” but this is nonsense in this day and age. If something is wrong, it’s wrong – and surely no newspaper worth its ink wants to print errors. Correct the online copy and be done with it. We all make mistakes.

For more on this subject, I recommend visiting Regret The Error, a whole site devoted to the topic of media corrections – humourous and otherwise – by Canadian author and freelancer Craig Silverman.

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