In the online world, which is where the LA Times today is of course firmly anchored, article corrections are even easier to miss. Such amendments may be noted at the bottom of a story or sit in a separate little area, but the bottom line is that within the expanding web even more so than dwindling print, you really have to look for these notations.
So it’s no surprise that to highlight this week’s fixes by the paper of a September 14 story by Sam Allen, the Central Basin Municipal Water District has issued a big, fat press release. The agency is taking no chances here and, quite honestly, if they had not done this, FishbowlLA probably would not be writing about it. Per the release:
The Times corrected a headline that accused the District of financing a website to create promotional stories. Additionally, the Times addressed factual errors that had the District paying$200,000 for online media, when in reality the agency paid $70,000 for outreach services, an industry standard. Finally, the Times admitted that Central Basin had no contract with NewsHawksReview.com and that the website had not been created by Central Basin’s consultant to tout the water agency, as previously reported.
“We thank the LA Times for its timely investigation and correction of the glaring errors by reporter Sam Allen, which included significant factual inaccuracies as well as loaded wording that created a misperception of the District,” said Central Basin General Manager Art Aguilar. “While these are not the first mistakes to make it to print, they were egregious enough to take the newspaper to task.”
Did they really have to add that last sentence? That seems like rubbing it in a little. Then again, two weeks after the original item published and got tons of third-party media coverage, it’s easy to understand why the organization might feel vindicated.