Tag Archives: Paterno

10 Lessons for Newsrooms: On Accuracy and Apologies

It’s easy to point a finger at a student news site that published inaccurate information. It’s humbling to see the managing editor there take responsibility and resign. It’s harder for the pros who run established newsrooms to look in the mirror and acknowledge where we’ve made mistakes. Harder still to share those lessons with our staffs and our community. Editors who takes those steps, however, build trust with readers. There will be time this coming week to carefully review what happened in your newsroom on Saturday evening, what might have been done differently, where you fell short and where you hit the mark.

Jeff Sonderman at Poynter has a good overview of the original error and correction about Joe Paterno’s condition. This post is about the second ring of error, the newsrooms that repeated the inaccurate information. There were many.

As I watched the error and the correct information spread across my Twitter and Facebook feeds and on a range of news sites, I saw problems along 10 decision points, five that came before a news organization published the first, inaccurate information and five more after it was published. In the days ahead, others will describe their own lessons learned. I offer this in the hope that it will inspire some thoughtful reflection — and improved newsroom procedures.
10 Errors, 10 Lessons: What Not to do in Your Newsroom

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