Two Canadian public editors revealed how many corrections their respective papers — the Globe and Mail and Toronto Star — had to publish in 2016.
The Globe and Mail published about 450 corrections in 2016, public editor Sylvia Stead reported, ten percent more than last year’s roughly 400 corrections.
This year, the Globe added a link to its online articles making it easy for readers to report errors or complaints, she noted, and more than 5,000 people used it to flag errors. However, “of the 5,000 notes from readers through the online links, more than half were self-labelled as typos or spelling concerns, which are corrected without a formal note and are not tallied.”
Stead noted, “About a third were listed as factual errors; about 10 per cent were editorial concerns; the rest were complaints about the comments process.”
Stead also collected a few noteworthy corrections:
- “An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the Mad Hatter was the one who said he was late, late for a very important date. In fact, it was the White Rabbit.”
- “No friend of The Donald, Ohio Governor John Kasich was incorrectly called Donald Kasich.”
- “Spelt is not gluten-free. Incorrect information appeared in the original version of this article.”
- “A Saturday Report on Business graphic said the price of eggs has dropped about 300 per cent to as low as 99 cents (U.S.) a dozen. In fact, since September, 2015, the United States Department of Agriculture says egg prices are down 37.6 per cent.”
In 2015, the Globe and Mail’s correction about Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump went viral when a story changed the meaning of Clinton’s tweet “Love trumps hate” to “Love Trump’s hate.”
Toronto Star public editor Kathy English reported the Star also had an increase in corrections, publishing 1,049 print and online corrections (406 in print, 643 online). In 2015, the Star published 870 in full.
Both Stead and English noted that many of the corrections concerned basic facts — wrong names, dates and math. Last year, both public editors said the same common mistakes were made as well.
Related to this, please check out iMediaEthics’ collection of 10 entertaining corrections from 2016.
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