by Mike Masnick
Wed, Jun 23rd 2010 11:44am
Now that Rupert Murdoch has put up his paywalls around The Times of London and the Sunday Times, it's creating some interesting moral and journalistic dilemmas. Earlier this year, apparently the Sunday Times ran a highly publicized report claiming that climate change scientists had made predictions about rainforest threats from climate change that were based on bogus information. Unfortunately, it turns out that that the bogus part was actually in the coverage by The Times, and not the researchers. Months later, The Times has issued a massive retraction. While the Sunday Times has simply disappeared the original article from the web (article? what article?), the retraction is behind the paywall. This is leading some to question the journalistic ethics here. If you put out a huge, publicly-accessible, fear-mongering report that accuses researchers of relying on junk science... and it turns out to be totally wrong, doesn't there seem to be something wrong about then putting the retraction behind a paywall? I recognize that the Sunday Times' strategy is for all of its content to be paywalled, but there are times when you make an exception. This seems like an important one.
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