Darren Wilson, the police officer in Ferguson, Missouri who shot 18-year-old Michael Brown, has been the subject of numerous news stories in the past days.
But the New York Times has had to issue corrections to two stories about Wilson because it wrongly reported how long Wilson was a police officer, how long he was an officer in Ferguson and how long he was an officer at his previous job.
The New York Times also made an error in one of its corrections, mixing up Wilson’s name with Brown, iMediaEthics found.
On Aug. 19, the Times published a correction on its story, “A Youth, an Officer and 2 Paths to a Fatal Encounter.”
That correction fixed the Times‘ incorrect reporting “in some editions” that Wilson was a police officer in Jennings, Missouri for four years when he worked there for just two years. The correction states:
“Correction: August 19, 2014
“An article on Saturday about Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager in Ferguson, Mo., who was killed by a police officer misstated, in some editions, the number of years that the officer, Darren Wilson, worked for the police department in Jennings, Mo., before joining the Ferguson force. It was two years, not four.”
Then, on August 22, the Times published a second correction on the same article to reflect that Wilson worked for the Ferguson police for “almost three years, not four” and in total had been a police officer for five years instead of six. That correction reads:
“Correction: August 22, 2014
“An earlier version of this article, relying on information from the Ferguson police, misstated the number of years that Mr. Brown served as an officer in Ferguson. Subsequent information from a public record’s request showed that Mr. Wilson served with the department for almost three years, not four, giving him five years of experience as a police officer, not six.”
But, that correction mixes up Wilson’s name with Brown’s. See below. iMediaEthics highlighted the error:
iMediaEthics has written to the Times about this error in its correction.
Finally, on Aug. 26, the Times posted a correction on a different Aug. 16 article correcting the same error as above about how long Wilson worked for the Ferguson police and as a police officer. That correction didn’t mix up Brown and WIlson’s name and reads:
“Correction: August 26, 2014
“An article on Aug. 16 about a decision by the police department in Ferguson, Mo., to identify the officer involved in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, using information from the department, misstated the number of years that the officer, Darren Wilson, has been a police officer. According to subsequent information from a public records request, Mr. Wilson has served with the Ferguson department for almost three years, not four, giving him five years of experience as a police officer, not six. The error was repeated in an accompanying article about the lives of Mr. Brown and Mr. Wilson”
Yesterday, New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan called the Times’ referring to Brown as “no angel” a “blunder” on the newspaper’s part.
St. Louis TV news outlet KSDK apologized earlier this month after showing Wilson’s home on TV.
9:52 PM Fixed author name