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January 18, 2014

Mistakes easy to take ... if they're not yours


Still, I’m proud to be part of the only industry I know that makes a genuine effort to find out what we screw up, and then owns up to it in front of thousands of people the next day.

For the record, The Daily Star ran 114 corrections in 2013. That was seven more than in 2012, and two fewer than in 2011. That’s pretty consistent, except when we consider that from 2007 through 2010, we averaged nearly 179 corrections.

In my “corrections” columns over the last two Januarys, I’ve puzzled over the reduction … and I’m still at a loss for the answer. I know we’re trying just as hard to discover our errors, and I’m pretty sure we didn’t suddenly become far more accurate beginning in 2011. Maybe it’s more people reading us online and choosing not to contact us about a boo-boo. I really don’t know.

Don’t get me wrong, I hate it when we make a mistake. But I truly hope we find out about more of them, and our corrections total rises in 2014.

Unlike in some previous years when we committed some real doozies, our corrections in 2013 were by and large run-of-the-mill stuff — a wrong address, a date for an event that was inaccurate, a mistaken name of an organization.

Not so fortunate was the London Evening Standard, which in September ran this correction after its coverage of a museum exhibit featuring the suits of artist Sebastian Horsley.

“… By unfortunate error we referred to Rachel Garley, the late Sebastian Horsley’s girlfriend, who arranged the exhibitions, as a prostitute. We accept that Ms Garley is not and has never been a prostitute. We offer our sincere apologies to Ms Garley for the damage to her reputation and the distress and embarrassment she has suffered as a result.”

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