Correct Me If I’m Wrong

Friday, December 24, 2010


As 2010 draws to a close, Craig Silverman, of the website and book Regret the Error, joins us for his annual visit. Silverman unveils his media errors and corrections of the year and tells us more about the Report an Error Alliance, a new initiative which proposes an industry standard for reporting errors and corrections easily and efficiently online.

    Music Playlist
  • Officer Officer
    Artist: by Anika

Comments [6]

Ali Lemer from Melbourne, Australia

A bit of irony in this piece: Bob erred while describing the Cooks Source incident. Monica Gaudio did not ask for any personal financial compensation for her stolen article; she asked for a donation of $130 to be given to the Columbia School of Journalism.

Something for the new correction section of the site in 2011, perhaps?

Dec. 30 2010 10:53 PM
Matt Chew from Phoenix, AZ

I recently engaged in a multi-message email exchange with a New York Times editor regarding some flatly erroneous statements appearing in a Tuesday "Science Times" article. I refuted them with citations and provided links to the cited materials. The editor agreed with me on some points but published no corrections; then asked for permission to use one of my most trivial criticisms as a letter to the editor. I agreed to that (and why not; it's hard to get a letter published in the NYT). But the darkly funniest aspect of the conversation was the editor's near-Clintonian parsing of the phrase "there is no known ____". I contended that "no known" must mean nobody knows, and furthermore must mean that the newspaper had exercised due diligence before making the claim. The editor was content to let an assertion of apparently global ignorance mean simply that the reporter didn't know, rendering the nonfactual statement accurate. It amounts to a policy of "don't ask, don't tell, don't know, don't care, and don't bother".

Dec. 30 2010 06:51 PM
Adam Schramm from Albuquerque

(My apologies, this comment was posted under the Net Neutraliy story, which was the only segment from the show posted on the site when I first wrote the comment):
Oh, come on! How can you do a segment on the biggest media screw-ups of the year without even a passing mention of NPR's handling of the firing of Juan Williams? While I don't question the reasons for or the right of NPR to fire Mr. Williams, their response to the media outburst over the issue was one of the premier examples of a PR disaster by a media outlet in years. We're talking about an incident with enough legs to likely engender congressional ramifications in the coming year under the new Congress!
I'm sure that OTM's network masters would just as soon keep this particular dust from being pushed out from under the carpet but it's the responsibility of a media watchdog such as your program to acknowledge and highlight even those flubs made by your own network.
It wasn't that long ago, guys. We haven't forgotten yet.

Dec. 30 2010 12:46 AM
Mark Schubin from New York (but currently in Dallas)

I eagerly await the "Corrections" section of your website. In the meantime, from my website (which has a prominent corrections section), here is my correction of your August 13 story, "Does Science Fiction Predict the Future of Journalism?"

Dec. 26 2010 09:00 PM
gary oleyar from new jersey

just a comment, i was an athlete in high school and college, am a musician who is involved in a great many *reportable* events and performances and have been politically active since my first protesting the war in viet nam. every single time, and i mean 100% of the time i've read either a newspaper or magazine article, or watched a TV new report or other there has been some egregious error or misrepresentation. there have been hundreds. not one time did i read anything i attended recounted and said, "yeah, this time they got it all right". anything from the simple name of an athlete and his event performance, or who played what and when to an act of environmental civil disobedience or a rally in central park and the reasons why there have been inaccuracies that literally could change the overview of the situation by the casual reader. even the well intentioned get things so wrong that it makes me laugh. i could give examples for days with my data base of one. makes me wonder about what i hear as news that i come in contact with in the with an, 'i wonder what percentage if this story is wrong'.

Dec. 26 2010 04:08 PM

It is not only the news media that has gotten rid of copy editors. I have just spent months trying to get a corporate website corrected, where there were major factual errors and substantial grammatical problems. Basic mechanical problems abounded as well, as all the links to 'further information' pages were incorrect.

It seems that each day I am asked, or forced, to review material that is amazingly bad. Unfortunately by the time I am asked it is often after publication.

I am not a copy editor, nor a technical writer. I am not even an English major. I am a technician who cares about things, including that we appear professional and competent.

Dec. 26 2010 02:39 PM

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