The Globe and Mail published “around 40” corrections each month in 2015, public editor Sylvia Stead reported. That is “down from the previous 50 to 60” a month in other years, she wrote.
Stead explained that a lot of corrections are for simple, avoidable errors.
“Names and numbers continue to be the top categories for mistakes,” she wrote. “This doesn’t bode well for a publication that sees itself as Canada’s journal of record. Given the ease of checking names online, there should be, in theory at least, a decline here as well.”
Common number mistakes include adding or subtracting a number, according to Stead, offering as examples:
“A feature on aboriginal residents of Prince Edward Island said they number 13,000 when, in fact, just 1,300 remain. A story on a $100,000 charitable donation inflated the figure to $100-million while another report reduced a company’s annual sales from $740-million to merely $740,000.”
Stead also pointed to the Globe‘s viral grammatical error earlier this month, which changed the meaning of Hillary Clinton’s tweet “Love trumps hate” to “Love Trump’s Hate.” That December correction earned the number one spot on iMediaEthics’ round-up of the top political corrections of the year.
Stead noted many errors are spotted by eagle-eyed readers.
In 2014, The Globe and Mail published around 450 corrections. In 2013, the Globe published 744, iMediaEthics wrote then.
The Toronto Star published a total of “870 print and online” corrections in 2015, public editor Kathy English told iMediaEthics by e-mail. In 2014, the Star published a few dozen fewer corrections, and in 2013, the Star ran 985 corrections, as iMediaEthics reported at the time.
English reported Jan. 2 about the year-end roundup of corrections at the Toronto Star. Types of common errors at the Star were similar to those at the the Globe, with English saying the errors were often numbers and names, but also “inaccurate information about geography, history, politics, science, sports.”
And like the Globe, English pointed to the Star‘s readers as prompting corrections after writing in with correction requests. “As always, we corrected too many mistakes that really annoy readers — wrong phone numbers and incorrect times and locations,” English wrote.