by The Freedom Forum
Suggestions for handling errors and corrections in a way that your readers and viewers will appreciate:
- Track errors; do not rely on readers or wait for them to call. Research shows readers make note of errors but sometimes don't bother to call in with them.
- Publish prompt corrections of al factual errors, mistakes and inaccuracies. Err on printing more corrections. The policy of The Gazette in Colorado Springs says, "The paper should be prepared to correct even little calendar mistakes that effect as few as five people."
- Make corrections detailed enough to be understandable - repeat the error in the correction to remind readers of what the story was about.
- Publish clarifications when all the facts were correct, but the overall impression was misleading, ala the New York Times.
- Publish corrections prominently in the same place every day.
- Create a system that makes it easy for readers to report errors and ask for corrections. If the paper is found to be making errors more often in one section of the paper, assign someone to specifically address that problem.
- Explain in each correction how the error occurred and who was responsible, if not by name them by job title or function.
- Apologize for the mistake and say the paper is sorry.