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Posts Tagged ‘corrections’

3 Things to Remember When You Correct a Story

ericschererWhile it may be true that when you talk about trust and journalism, we’re talking about protecting sources and being brave enough to publish things that challenge the powers that be. But it’s also just about being trustworthy as a news source. And that means correcting your mistakes. As I notice poorly worded, or not even acknowledged, corrections floating around the Internet on a daily basis, it might be time for some refreshers.

1) Make it immediate. Since most of the time the reason for the mistake may be that you were rushing through the 24-hour news cycle, you should also remember that you can correct anywhere, anytime. As soon as you notice a mistake, announce it on Twitter even before the copy editor finishes updating the story for that matter. I think being overzealous is a good thing in this case. Read more

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Even Upworthy’s Corrections Are Designed To Go Viral

upworthycorrection_featuredYou’ve seen and no doubt probably shared a piece of content or two that came to your attention via viral news-worth-sharing aggregator Upworthy. But have you ever gone back to a piece you shared, or circled back to a piece you’ve already seen before?

No?

That’s the problem with corrections on the Internet. Nobody (OK, very few people) goes back to re-read or re-watch something they’ve already seen. Why would you when there are hundreds of thousands of other awesome videos that will make you cry or reconsider your life waiting for you to discover.

But what happens if that video or story misled you or contained inaccuracies? You’ll probably never know, or forget the source where you first saw that mistake appear. In a newspaper, clarifications and corrections are typically appended to the stories and appear in print, either near the masthead or in a standard area of the section of the paper. Blog posts often append updated information at the top or bottom, or strike-through info that comes to light as being wrong. But how do you get those misinformed visitors to come back to see that?
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BuzzFeed Shows AP Stylebook Isn’t Exhaustive, Especially for Digital Age

keep-calm-and-follow-buzzguide-1No one can argue this — the Internet has changed everything when it comes to journalism, and while the AP Stylebook will continue to be considered “ol’ faithful” in our industry on most issues of journalistic style, there must be a benchmark for the Web-speak so prevalent in social and digital media today.

That is why BuzzFeed, generator of hilarious lists and investigative stories alike, has made public its newsroom style guide.

While BuzzFeed said its style manual isn’t meant to cover all elements of grammar and journalistic style (they rely mostly on the AP Stylebook, except for their own overrides on words they use often on the site — we’ll get to those later), the digital publisher hopes the guide will be a good source for its media peers.

“Our perspective reflects that of the internet at large, which is why we hope other sites and organizations across the web will find these guidelines useful,” wrote BuzzFeed copy team staffers Emmy Favila and Megan Paolone for the official release of the guide last week.

Of note when it comes to words and phrases journalists (specifically those covering technology and media beats) might be prone to using? See after the jump.

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Help On The Media ‘Fix Twitter’

There’s been a lot of moaning about misinformation on Twitter the past few weeks; myself and other 10,000 Words contributors have done our fair share of kvetching. 

But the team over at the On The Media podcast are actually trying to do something about it. In a short segment in this week’s podcast, which you can listen to here, they’re asking listeners to help ‘fix Twitter.’

When news breaks, it’s commonplace to just tweet and retweet what people are reporting, and then find out later that the information was totally wrong. The problem is that most organizations or individuals will either delete the tweet, or correct it another one. We all know the scrolling feed moves at a breakneck pace, and sometimes the correct tweet can be overlooked. Meanwhile, the incorrect one is left to be found by users later on in someone’s feed and the cycle of misinformation continues. 

So, there has to be a way for people to tweet to-be-confirmed information that fits into the overall Twitter aesthetic and that sticks with the original tweet itself, so that the “not yet confirmed” status of the information doesn’t get lost in the ether. 

On the Media host (and editor…) Brooke Gladstone suggested a question mark. The punctuation fits into the lexicon of Twitter — it’s just one character. But, as they point out in the segment, that mark could potentially be deleted in retweets. OTM producer PJ Vogt suggested a ‘flag’ function, that would immediately gray out a tweet that needs to be corroborated. Then as he puts it, the ‘onus is on the reader’ to seek out more information. 

Got any good ideas? Head over to the OTM Blog and leave a good suggestion — the comments are already filling up withpretty good ideas ranging from the highly technical to simple key-worded hashtags that journalists could propagate. 

How News Outlets Could Have Reported on the Boston Marathon Bombing

If journalism is the first draft of history, it’s starting to look a lot like a mangled Google doc with too many approved editors this week.

The only thing more ‘disgusting’ — as Jimmy Kimmel so aptly put it in his monologue Monday night — than the Boston Marathon bombing on Monday is the way traditional news outlets have handled the coverage on social media and on their websites.

Since, unfortunately, there are few, verified, newsworthy updates coming out of the bombing itself, the media critic hive mind has been quick to call foul on how the news broke. I find myself repeating some age-old maxims.

1) Regret Your Errors

At this point, we know the New York Post and the New York Times messed up initial counts of deaths and casualties. The Times corrected the information without a note. It makes you wonder how they win Pulitzers and how they plan on convincing the public that their brand is worth fighting for. Yes, corrections in print were always tucked away on the editorial page; you had to be a real stickler and seek them out.  Read more