The New Orleans Times-Picayune used to have a page here. At some point over the last year or so that link went dead, and now there’s no link to a correction page on the site at least that I can find. When The Washington Post redesigned its site a few months back, it broke its old corrections URL. Now the correction link at the footer of every page and in the National drop-down menu goes to a page with an error report form. But there are no actual corrections to be found there. I’ve been unable to locate a page that lists all corrections. It seems to have disappeared. A similar thing happened at The Globe And Mail. Its homepage corrections link used to go to a page. Now it goes to an e-mail address. Where are the corrections?
As far as I can tell, NBC is the only network news operation that places corrections online, which it does on the MSNBC.com online corrections page. Unfortunately, much like The Economist’s, the page is hidden. (If I’ve missed a homepage link or otherwise made a mistake regarding an online corrections page, let me know in the comments below.)
Most news organizations either don’t bother to create a corrections page, forget about it over time, or neglect to update it properly in the case of a redesign.
The Times deserves praise for putting effort and attention into its online corrections page. That said, there are a few additions to the page that would be useful and are used by some other organizations. Brock agreed on this front, and said my recommended additions are on his radar and perhaps even on his wish list for a true corrections homepage.
One feature that should become standard on corrections pages is an error report form. (Have a look at the Chicago Tribune’s.) This makes it easier for people to report errors. It also helps ensure they provide the necessary information. Sometimes news organizations get incomplete or vague error reports (“The story about Obama has an incorrect date”).
Another helpful offering comes from the Houston Chronicle. It has an RSS feed for corrections, which helps push them out to people. No need to keep coming back to a page every day. The problem is that the Chronicle’s RSS feed isn’t offered on the corrections page. You need to go to the paper’s RSS feeds page to see that one exists.
I’d also like to see the corrections pages link to a page where readers can read the news organization’s corrections policy in order to understand more about what does and doesn’t qualify for correction.
But mostly it would be nice to see the online corrections page become a standard for all news sites.
Ironic, yes. Useful? No.
Correction of the Week
“In earlier editions of last night’s Evening Times we carried, under the headline Smoking alert for mums a story which suggested that a new report promoted smoking during pregnancy.
“In fact the report by the UCL Institute for Women’s Health supported the long-held view that smoking while pregnant significantly increases the risk of serious birth defects, including missing and deformed limbs.
“We apologise for any inconvenience caused.” — Evening Times (U.K.)