Fact Checking vs. Rapid Corrections: Which Is More Important?
from the reporting-vs.-conversations dept
To some extent, I believe this shows the different mindsets of some of these newer publications. I've talked in the past about how I view this blog as a conversation, not a reporting venue. And, as such, I don't delete stuff, even when it turns out that I made a mistake. Instead, I'll do a strikethrough or cross out, along with an update explaining what happened. I don't think it's right to simply "disappear" the original -- though I've had some traditional journalists (and one Hollywood lawyer) act as if I had done something horrible in using a strikethrough on mistaken content.
And yet, personally, I've found that, while I hate it when a story is wrong, the fact that I correct such stories fully and openly has built up greater trust. The few times we've needed to correct such a story, the response has almost always been universally positive rather than negative. As mentioned above, it's like the difference between a conversation and old-school reporting. Old school reporting sought to be "the source of record." A conversation is more about learning as you go. In a conversation, I might say something -- and the person/people I'm talking to may correct me, and from that we all learn. But for traditional reporters, such an error is seen as a huge black mark that requires rewriting history and "disappearing" the mistake -- rather than leaving it there, with a clear update, so that everyone can learn.