In an era when standards appear to be declining at online news outlets, it’s encouraging to see a blog up its game and advance the cause of transparency.
We therefore applaud to the Chicago Tribune, whose TribNation blog today walked readers, step by step, through the process of correcting an error.
The Tribune discussed its error — putting percentage signs after per-100,000-people gun death statistics — at length, and then published internal emails leading up to the ensuing correction. Beyond that, the blog gave readers a general insight into the Tribune’s correction policies:
In the Tribune newsroom, we track back on corrections, see what happened, and figure out how we could do better work if we had a chance to do this over. It’s not a gotcha exercise but an expectation that we are all committed to doing quality work and that we share a core value of accuracy.
We’ll forgive the warm-and-fuzzy tone because the post acknowledges the possibility of human error by Tribune journalists and treats its readers as intelligent enough to recognize that there is a process behind putting words on a newspaper. We’re also excited to see online media being used to advance the cause of transparency rather than blamed for a decline in journalistic standards.