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ethics question

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by digger, Sep 10, 2008.

  1. digger

    digger New Member

    Ok, so the paper has one of its high school sports previews. (writer/paper/sport nameless to avoid any territorial issues - but some of you may know where I'm from and what sport I care about most :))

    In the player's to watch category, the writer lists a player who was a star last year, but has since moved to a different state. Feel free to talk about what that shows as far as the writer is concerned.

    But, my question is about the paper's website. They simply took the player's name and bio/stats out after someone called attention to it on the sport's forum on the web. Should they have indicated that the list was edited/corrected after it was put on the website? (obviously, they didn't).
  2. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

  3. 2muchcoffeeman

    2muchcoffeeman Active Member

    Yes, they should have. We correct our mistakes in public.
  4. greenlantern

    greenlantern Guest

    Did the writer get in trouble? Did a correction run about the error? I know one person who wrote something similar a few years ago and got into a load of trouble over it.
  5. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    If it was wrong it print, they should correct it in print. But I think you can just change stuff on the internet. It's a different medium.
  6. 2muchcoffeeman

    2muchcoffeeman Active Member

    The medium is not the point. It's still journalism, whether it's pixels or paper.

    <blockquote><b>Be Accountable</b>
    Journalists are accountable to their readers, listeners, viewers and each other.

    Journalists should:

    — Clarify and explain news coverage and invite dialogue with the public over journalistic conduct.
    — Encourage the public to voice grievances against the news media.
    <u><i><b>— Admit mistakes and correct them promptly.</b></i></u>
    — Expose unethical practices of journalists and the news media.
    — Abide by the same high standards to which they hold others.</blockquote>
  7. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    You are taking a name off a list. Not like you have accused an innocent man of murder.
  8. 2muchcoffeeman

    2muchcoffeeman Active Member

    Nevertheless, it's an error and we publicly admit to our mistakes. We're supposed to, anyway. You can't just say, "Oops! Haha," and sweep it under the rug. If you admit you screwed up a small thing, no matter what the medium, the public is more likely to trust you when you're reporting a big story rather than saying, "Hell, they probably got <i>that</i> wrong too!"

    It's a credibility issue.
  9. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    That's why I would run a correction in the paper and just fix it online.

    Online stories are changed and edited all the time.

    Say one is up for 15 minutes and you realize someone's first name is wrong. You gonna just fix it or run a correction on it?
  10. 2muchcoffeeman

    2muchcoffeeman Active Member


    The reason the medium doesn't matter is because, sooner rather than later, online is going to be the primary outlet; realistically, it should already be the primary outlet. If you don't establish good practices now, then later on it's hard to get out of that "ah, just change it" mentality.

    So you don't "just change it" because in that 15 minutes somebody may have already seen the error. You make the change, but you put a note at the bottom that the change was made.

    You may wish to take a look at how Slate does it sometime. In addition to a separate page with corrections every week and links to the stories that were corrected, the site producers also note the corrections at the bottom of the articles in question.
  11. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    Oh no. There was a dropped word in a story someone at my shop posted online last week. I went in and added it 10 minutes later. And didn't post a note at the bottom (or top!) of the story.

    My bad.
  12. digger

    digger New Member

    In addition, people who follow the sport probably read the post on the online forum, and know that the mistake existed. So it looks like you're just trying to hide it.
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