Correct, don’t delete, that erroneous tweet

Over the weekend many news organizations reported, erroneously, that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was dead. These reports don’t seem to have originated on Twitter. But many spread there — and now they’re occasioning a round of head-scratching over how to handle retractions and corrections in this new communications format. This happens with every new phase of […]

The White House shakeup that wasn’t: A followup on a Wall Street Journal mediabug

The biennial midterm in American politics is almost always a time of turnover in presidential administrations. Appointees may be out of favor, or frustrated, or tired, or just eager to make some money; they leave. Elections that deliver a drubbing to the administration’s party, like our most recent one, make this sort of change even […]

Report an Error wins converts, draws critiques


Our Report an Error Alliance has won a couple of great endorsements. NPR ombudsman Alicia Shepard has recommended that NPR implement a Report an Error button. And at the NewsFoo conference last weekend in Phoenix, a by-invitation gathering of journalists and digital innovators, Tim O’Reilly told people that Report an Error was “the most important […]

WSJ’s Obama-shakeup overreach: Why I think the paper’s wrong, and why it matters

When I talk about the state of corrections in today’s news media I use the phrase “circle the wagons” a lot. It’s meant to evoke the defensive reflexes that kick in when a news organization perceives it’s under attack. Too often, circling the wagons is the default reaction in the newsroom when readers raise questions […]

Wall Street Journal pushes trumped-up Obama shakeup story, stonewalls questions


Right before the election last week the Wall Street Journal ran a story that suggested the Obama administration was suffering a veritable collapse, with top Democrats demanding Obama reshape his entire administration. Great story — only there wasn’t a single quote, sourced or anonymous, backing up the headline and lead. MediaBugs has been working this […]

Survey: News websites across US botch error reporting, corrections


Over at MediaBugs, we’ve just published the second of our surveys of correction practices — this one nationwide. The results confirm the pattern we found in our first, Bay-Area-only study: Most news websites make it hard for readers to report errors and find corrections. Here are the gory details. Interestingly, the cable news networks have […]

Why MediaBugs won’t take the red or blue (state) pill

We’re excited about the expansion of, our service for reporting errors in news coverage, from being a local effort in the San Francisco Bay Area to covering the entire U.S. But with this expansion we face an interesting dilemma. Building a successful web service means tapping into users’ passions. And there’s very little that […]