Journalism Prof Recalls Laborious L.A. Times Correction

The world of newspaper corrections policies is also sometimes one of contradictions. For example, the website for the Columbia Journalism Review, where author Justin D. Martin blogs today about this topic, itself does not have a dedicated corrections page.

Martin, a Ph.D. credentialed professor at the University of Cairo and, starting next month, Maine, argues that a sound corrections approach is even more critical for the realm of international reporting, given the embedded issues of language, cultural chasms, and so on. He also recalls an interesting experience earlier this year with the Los Angeles Times:

In spring of 2011, it took me the better part of a month to get the L.A. Times to correct a minor factual error about a storied cafe in Cairo. I called the paper’s correction desk and repeatedly filled out their online correction form, but I was ignored. It wasn’t until I started slamming the paper on Twitter everyday (“Day 24 of uncorrected @latimes error,” for example), that they grew tired of my harassment and fixed the damn mistake. But this was atypical of how the L.A. Times usually handles errors.

FishbowlLA likes The New York Times short-form of seamlessly correcting an article online, but also annotating at the bottom with a dated explanation of what was fixed. As was the case for example with this July 24 piece by L.A. correspondent Michael Cieply about a new Chilean miners movie being produced by Mike Medavoy.