Transparency on Twitter
|We regret the error.|
On Sunday, I was watching “This Week” from ABC News. The episode included a piece from Pierre Thomas about the alleged shooter, Jared Lee Loughner. In an ten minute profile, one of the still images of Mr. Loughner included a caption with his name spelled incorrectly.
|Not “Jarod Lee Loffner.”|
Now, I understand reporting errors occur every day; this very post might even have one. But multi-million dollar news organizations should make very few of them, especially when they are devoting so many of their resources to following such a potential ratings bonanza. What’s more important to me, however, is what they do when they discover an error.
That’s why I found a discussion on a recent “On the Media” so interesting. The segment featured a conversation between co-host Bob Garfield and Craig Silverman of Regret the Error about how news organizations handle corrections, if at all. It was surprising to me how many media outlets devote so few resources to updates of erroneous stories.
“... at places like CNN and FOX News and other large broadcasters there was either very little or nothing at all when it came to error reporting mechanisms.”
Craig Silverman- “On the Media,” 24 December 2010
Coincidently, I noticed a conversation on Twitter about a very similar topic. Prompted after the Poynter Institute posted a story calling Twitter an “imperfect news channel,” the discussion (which is embedded below) included recommendations about how newsrooms could signify corrected and amended information in updates.
If we are going to continue to trust news agencies online as much as we do in broadcasts, they are obliged to find a more open way to correct and notify audiences of previous mistakes. Until they do, they are missing an important part of the transparency good reporting, and journalism in general, requires.
With that off my chest, I’ll get back to building with the Twitter API, and tell you about it on the ‘morrow, on the Web.