My other wishes for the new year include seeing all news organizations launch regularly-updated online corrections pages linked from their homepage, and place corrections within the offending article. I also wished for an end to the scrubbing of mistakes, and a way for readers to automatically receive corrections to a specific article:

Wouldn’t it be great if we had a “Notify Me If This Article Is Corrected” button alongside all of the “Print” and “Share” buttons that appear on most online articles? The reader could simply enter their email address and receive an email if a correction was issued for the story. It’s great that more and more news sites are placing corrections within the story, but how many people go back and reread an article? A lot of readers are not seeing the corrections. As I noted above, we need to find a way to push corrections out to readers. This tool would enable readers to receive corrections for articles that they consider particularly important or useful.

These are but a few ways of evolving corrections and accuracy. The point is that this is a time of remarkable innovation in journalism. It would be a shame, not to mention a disaster for the business and profession, if we forged ahead without bringing error prevention and corrections along with us.

Correction of the Week

“The headline on a front-page article on Friday, on the role in the housing bubble and consumption binge in the United States played by investment from China, could have been misunderstood. The article described how the United States has been tolerating a huge trade deficit with China while Chinese authorities have invested huge sums in American government securities from savings partly created by the inflow of American dollars. “Dollar Shift: Chinese Pockets Filled as Americans’ Emptied” meant to describe the complications of that situation; it did not mean to imply that China has profited from the weakness of the American economy.” – The New York Times

Craig Silverman is the editor of RegretTheError.com and the author of Regret The Error: How Media Mistakes Pollute the Press and Imperil Free Speech. He is also the editorial director of OpenFile.ca and a columnist for the Toronto Star.