Time made a ton of changes and added one whopper of a correction at the bottom of its Jan. 8 article “Britain’s Class Divide: Can Oxbridge Solve its Privilege Problem?” By iMediaEthics’ count, the correction amounted to 560 words. For comparison’s sake, the article itself was about 3,000 words.
At the top of the article, Time noted that “corrections appended January 8 and 10, 2013,” but the text itself isn’t labeled a “correction.” The lengthy correction discloses Time “changed” numerous parts of the article including adding context, correcting errors, fixing mischaracterizations, and more. From a read of the correction, it looks like Time’s errors were the result of largely imprecise descriptions (for example, changing the word “targeted” to “held”) and inaccuracies in the details. Check out one portion of the correction for an idea of how Time went wrong:
“An earlier version stated that Oxford University accepted ‘only one black Caribbean student’ in 2009, when in fact the university accepted one British black Caribbean undergraduate who declared his or her ethnicity when applying to Oxford. …
“The article mistakenly suggested that the current U.K. government had launched an ‘initiative to reform Oxbridge.’ There was no official initiative, but rather a marked push by the government to encourage change. The article referred to Cambridge and Oxford’s efforts ‘in the past two years’ to seek out underprivileged students. In fact, their commitment is far more long-standing — programs to reach out to underprivileged students have been operating at the two universities since at least the mid-1990s.”
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However, Time‘s correction, even if not in name, isn’t even the longest admission of error iMediaEthics has encountered. In 2010, we found a longer correction out of The New York Post, which apologized to former madam and at the time New York State gubernatorial candidate Kristin Davis for calling her a hooker. In that 638-word apology, the Post’s John Podhoretz repeated the word “hooker” more than two dozen times.
Do you know any other super long corrections? Send them in!
Hat Tip: James Taranto