They Regress the Error


Scott Rosenberg and company's Media Bugs has expanded its correction-accepting Web site from San Francisco newspapers and publications to the whole United States. The site functions as a public and accountable way to call media to task for errors of fact that aren't always retracted, corrected, or apologized for on the site or in print where they occurred.

Scott, a founder of and regular contributor to Salon, treats errors as bug reports, using the same kind of language, tracking, and resolution process familiar to programmers. The site doesn't require that bug reporters have contacted the media outlet already, but it does help. Rosenberg and crew personally follow up with a publication, which often responds. This is all documented in the bug report for public inspection. Media Bugs acts a bit like a consumer advocate. A media site might not respond to little old you, but with the spotlight of scrutiny, editors and ombudspeople are apparently more ready to make changes.

Setting the public record straight is one method to improve discourse, by ensuring that largely agreed-upon accounts of reality aren't corrupted.

Read the announcement at Media Bugs.

Image via Creative Commons from Isolino Ferreira.