Bend the truth and create outrage on the front page. Correct your 'mistake' later on the seventeenth page.
Page views are more important than truth. This was the truth long before page views was the metric.
Are we now judging the validity of good-faith corrections by which page they appear on in the print edition?
(Also, corrections/editor’s notes appear on A2 — the second page of the first section, the back of the front page — not the “seventeenth page.”)
It is my opinion that corrections need to appear on whatever page the initial error appeared on. If someone doesn't typically look at the 2nd page for whatever reason, then putting a correction of the front page on the 2nd page does not actually do anything to correct the misunderstanding. Plus, thousands of people will walk by a newspaper and see the headline on the first page, but not actually open the paper to look at the 2nd page, so a correction of the headline on the 2nd page does not fix anything there.
In a print edition, it makes much more sense to consolidate corrections on a single page, rather than having corrections strewn about in random places based on the exact page where the original article appeared.
You can’t reprint an entire newspaper, unfortunately.
I absolutely do not believe it was a mistake.
I believe a choice was made to find the most inflammatory, viral-worthy item related to Syria to garner attention. Is it an outright lie? no, this horror of war really happened. It just didn't happen recently.
Bend the truth for page views. Media's new ethics.
Then in my opinion, the corrections should be the top half of the front page. Printing something factually incorrect and then squirreling the retraction where few will see it is as bad as lying. If I lied on my taxes, then sent a postcard to the IRS correcting my lies, or posted the correction on my blog, I doubt the IRS would be forgiving. If every mistake took away valuable front page space, then maybe the papers would be more careful about printing factually incorrect statements. We should demand that those protected by freedom of the press be held to an extremely high standard to protect us from deliberate lies and propaganda.
Well, okay. That’s not going to happen, ever.
Your IRS analogy is way off, though. You can submit amended tax returns without incurring any (significant, life-altering) sort of penalty. It’s systemic, repeated lying or concealment that will get you in actual trouble with them. But to carry that analogy forward: I don’t see the Times engaging in systemic lying designed to conceal anything, here or elsewhere. They quickly corrected the piece, and appended a lengthy, clear correction on the article’s web page. That’s not squirreling it away.
I know it's not going to happen. Front page is prime real estate. It was just my opinion of what SHOULD happen.
My point was that printing something incorrect carries no penalties currently. They can fix it later, but damage has been done. For an institution that is protected by the Constitution, the press needs to be better about printing only truth, and making it well known when they make a mistake. The corrections on the web page is a definite positive, but not everyone read the original incorrect article on the web page, and people who did probably won't go back to check it again, so some amount of damage has been done.
That's why I think corrections need to be displayed more prominently. Front page for print, and maybe a sidebar on the main web page that says "corrections from articles that were run yesterday" or some such.
Gruesome pictures on either side should not trump reasoned debate on this.
Hillary Leverett, who has an insanely well qualified resume working for several administrations on some of the most pivotal ME issues in the last generation, has been one of the few voices of reason popping up in the MSM. Please take her points into account when thinking about Syria:
Hillary Mann Leverett, Middle East Analyst, Smacks Down MSNBC Panel On Syria: