Monday, April 06, 2009

An update on the "same site" error

I sent my post yesterday about the "same site" error in a new book on the Brooklyn Dodgers to both the New York Times and the publisher of the book.

Michael D'Antonio, author of Forever Blue, responded, saying he appreciated the information and said he'd make a correction, so future editions do not suggest that Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley sought the site now planned for the Atlantic Yards arena.

By contrast, Times Senior Editor Greg Brock sent me a snippy, sarcastic letter that reminded me that the Times makes mistakes, and that anyone using the Times archives should double-check their facts.

He had earlier told me "[t]here is a limit to how many old articles we can correct in print." The amount of effort expended, however, in responding to me could easily have been applied to a correction.

While Brock described how the Times implements its policies, the Times policy doesn't seem to acknowledge exceptions: "Because its voice is loud and far-reaching, The Times recognizes an ethical responsibility to correct all its factual errors, large and small (even misspellings of names), promptly and in a prominent reserved space in the paper."

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