Editors and news directors are generally dissatisfied with how news
organizations deal with mistakes in reporting, according to a new
survey by Public Agenda for Columbia Journalism Review. Seven in
ten (70%) senior journalists surveyed say news companies do only
a fair to poor job of informing the public of errors in reporting.
More than half (54%) complain that news organizations "lack clear
standard operating procedures for handling corrections," and 40
percent say there is no designated person or office at their own
news organization for reviewing complaints about mistakes in
coverage. A surprisingly high number suspect their peers of willful
fabrication: 38% have "seriously suspected a colleague of
manufacturing a quote or incident," and a similar number (39%)
believe that "too many errors go uncorrected because reporters and
editors want to hide their mistakes." However, more than half
(52%) agree that "many mistakes are the result of poor editing or
misleading headlines," and half do not believe organizations are too
reluctant to publish corrections.
The full results are available in the current issue of Columbia Journalism
Review, or online at:
Senior Contributing Editor
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