We promptly respond to correct errors in material published. When we run a correction, clarification or editor’s note, our goal is to tell readers, as clearly and quickly as possible, what was wrong and what is correct. Anyone should be able to understand how and why a mistake has been corrected.
If we are substantively correcting an article, photo caption, headline, graphic, video or other material, we should promptly publish a correction explaining the change.
When our journalism is factually correct but the language we used to explain those facts is not as clear or detailed as it should be, the language should be rewritten and a clarification added to the story. A clarification can also be used to note that we initially failed to seek a comment or response that has since been added to the story or that new reporting has shifted our account of an event.
A correction that calls into question the entire substance of an article, raises a significant ethical matter or addresses whether an article did not meet our standards, may require an Editor’s Note and be followed by an explanation of what is at issue. A senior editor must approve the addition of an Editor’s Note to a story.
Other Corrections Policies
When an error is found by a reader and posted to the comment stream, the audience engagement team should indicate in comments that it has been corrected.
If we have sent out incorrect information in an alert, we should send out an alert informing people that the news reported in the earlier alert was wrong and give readers the accurate information.
When we publish erroneous information on social networks, we should correct it on that platform.
We do not attribute blame to individual reporters or editors (e.g. “because of a reporting error” or “because of an editing error”). But we may note that an error was the result of a production problem or because incorrect information came to us from a trusted source (wire services, individuals quoted, etc.)
Founded & Published in 2012 by Justin Brotman.
We prefer at least two sources for factual information. We prefer sources with firsthand or direct knowledge of the information. A relevant document can sometimes serve as a second source. There are situations in which we will publish information from a single source, but we should only do so after deliberations involving the executive editor, the managing editor and the appropriate department head. The judgment to use a single source depends on the source’s reliability and the basis for the source’s information.
We must strive to tell our readers as much as we can about why our unnamed sources deserve our confidence. Our obligation is to serve readers, not sources. This means avoiding attributions to “sources” or “informed sources.” Instead we should try to give the reader something more, such as “sources familiar with the thinking of defense lawyers in the case,” or “sources whose work brings them into contact with the county executive,” or “sources on the governor’s staff who disagree with his policy.”
Dealing With Sources
We strive to treat sources fairly. This means putting statements we quote into context, and summarizing the arguments of people we quote in ways that are recognizably fair and accurate. Potentially controversial statements by public figures and others should be quoted in a complete sentence or paragraph when possible, and in context. In some cases, this will mean making clear what question was being answered when the statement was made.
When seeking comment from persons who are the subject of a story, we should give them a reasonable opportunity to respond to us. This means not calling at the last minute before deadline if we have any choice about timing.
We do not promise sources that we will refrain from additional reporting or efforts to verify the information they may give us.
We should not publish ad hominem quotations from unnamed sources. Sources who want to take a shot at someone should do so in their own names.
We should avoid blind quotations whose only purpose is to add color to a story.
We do not use pseudonyms, and we do not mislead our readers about the identities of people who appear in our stories.
We must be truthful about the source of our information. Facts and quotations in a story that were not produced by our own reporting must be attributed. Attribution of material from other media must be total. Plagiarism is not permitted. It is the policy of this newspaper to give credit to other publications that develop exclusive stories.
Readers should be able to distinguish between what the reporter saw and what the reporter obtained from other sources such as wire services, pool reporters, e-mail, websites, etc.
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