Craig Silverman’s Regret The Error: How Media Mistakes Pollute The Press And Imperil Free Speech (2007) is an interesting book that details the effect that errors have on the press.
Silverman runs Regret The Error in conjunction to the book. It took me two months to finally get through the book. I have been both busy and lazy throughout those two months.
While dry and repetitive at times, Silverman presents a logical argument filled with interesting and humorous anecdotes regarding the past prestige the press attained through its strive for accuracy and its subsequent failings at choosing to downsize or eliminate its proofreaders and fact-checkers amid the world of decreased readership, the Internet, and strained budgets.
- The difference between a mistake and a slip.
- The need to have credible and reliable sources.
- The need to be accountable.
- Corrections ensure accuracy, but having too many corrections alters the public perception’s to overall accuracy.
Websites that fact-check:
The favorite chapter is 10: “The Trouble With Corrections”, especially the latter section detailing a hidden or lost art of the ombudsman. He highlights Ian Mayes’ work at the Guardian as one skilled writer in balancing accurate “final” reporting and delicate wit.
“A more honest expression of the fallible nature of news is an essential ingredient in a renewed pursuit of accuracy.” (330)
“Accuracy, in the end, is not just one of the central tenets of the profession. It is the very substance of the product of journalism–sound reporting and perspectives that inform and enlighten the public.” (331)
After reading Regret The Error, I think I will be more proactive in correcting this blog. In the past, I have simply deleted or changed words, but strike-throughs are more appropriate.