How many corrections?


I am going to stay in this week’s theme… corrections.

It is extremely important that news organisations be transparent when they make an error and it is even more important that they correct it.

Many newspapers like the New York times or the Boston Globe have webpages dedicated to the corrections of errors.

So I wondered… how many corrections are made in a day or a week? Meaning how many errors were made and noticed.

Well the answer varies from a newspaper to another. Here is what I found out:

I am going to compare The Boston Globe, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and USA Today because they provided a clear list of errors.

And the winner for most errors in a week is… The New York Times.

With a total of 52 corrections in 6 days (from Aug. 6 to Aug. 11) going from an error in crediting a photo to incorrect information. That’s more than 8 errors a day. Their peak day during this period was August 7, with 13 corrections.

To compare…

The LA Times corrected 10 errors in 8 days (Aug. 5 to Aug. 12)

The Boston Globe corrected 6 in 9 days (Aug. 4 to Aug. 12)

And USA Today had 5 correction entries from August 1 to 12.

As a conclusion, two  options come into mind… The New York Times is way worse at checking facts than the three others or the others are not as transparent regarding their corrections…

Photo credit: ms. Tibbetts, error. Creative Commons. Some Rights Reserved.


Who won the Globe’s Munch Madness?

And the 2015 winner is: the Highland Kitchen in Sommerville.

Munch Madness

The Boston Globe launched its first Munch Madness in 2010. The Munch Madness is an annual contest opposing 64 local restaurants from the Boston area. Anyone can vote online for his or her favorite participant.

Although the idea of organizing such an event isn’t part of a journalistic effort, each step of the Munch Madness makes the news in the Boston Globe. The contest is divided in six rounds. The last round opposed  the Island Creek Oyster Bar to the Highland Kitchen. The latter won by 691 votes, Devra First reported in “Somerville restaurant Highland Kitchen wins Munch Madness 2015.”

In an era where everything is rated, especially food, The Boston Globe had a good idea to get people’s attention and probably attract people to read and buy The Globe.

Tsarnaev’s trial, last minute concerns

The Boston Herald and the Boston Globe raised different concerns about Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s trial, which is going to begin soon.

Tsarnaev, 21, is accused of dropping a backpack containing a bomb during the Boston Marathon, two years ago. The bomb killed four people and left many injured.

The challenge for the trial will not be to found out if Tsarnaev is guilty or not but to decide whether he should be executed or not.

“The FBI has already released surveillance footage of him at the scene, and prosecutors allege they have video footage of him dropping a backpack containing a bomb behind Martin Richard, an 8-year-old Dorchester boy who was killed in the attacks,” Milton J. Valencia wrote for the Boston Globe.

This unusual trial also raises last minute concerns such as, should he plead guilty or not guilty or who should be part of the jury.

The Boston Globe chose to focus on the plea, in “Tsarnaev plea now the big question,” whereas the Boston Herald emphasized more on the jury part of the story, in “Bulger jurors to Tsarnaev panel: It’s going to be tough.”

One could read in the Boston Globe today:

TsarnaevGlobe“But now, with his lawyers set this week to make their first public declaration in closely watched opening statements, one remaining legal quandary still stands before him: Should he change his plea from not guilty to guilty?
A strange concept, perhaps, considering there is no chance that a guilty plea would prompt prosecutors to lessen the charges he faces. But legal analysts say that continuing to maintain his innocence in the face of seemingly overwhelming evidence against him could actually serve to antagonize jurors — the same jurors who ultimately have the power to sentence him to death.”

The Boston Herald, chose a very interesting angle to its story by drawing a parallel between the jurors who served for the trial of James “Whitey” Bulger, a mobster, and Tsarnaev’s trial.

A Bulger juror from Brockton, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said there’s only one way for Tsarnaev’sTsarnaevHerald jurors to cope: “Just go through it. That’s what I did,” he said. “I’m glad I had the experience, but at the same time, it was tough. The films, the testimony … I think I’ve moved on. I’m a Christian and that’s my foundation. I know who’s in charge.”

Snow storms, the Boston Globe got it covered

voiture neige

Tough winters in the United Stated are good and compelling stories to put in the news. It is natural that everybody wants to know how many inches of snow they are going to have to shovel the next day or how cold they will be. Although isn’t that what weather forecast websites or broadcasts are for?

I must admit, the Boston Globe journalists did some good coverage of snow storms throughout the years but the lastest article seemed pretty plain to me. “Weekend storm may dump up to 8 inches of snow,” is probably not the most creative title. It is yet very clear and gives the most important information.

The rest of the article is indeed really useful but watching the Weather Channel would give really similar information.

“Central Massachusetts should expect 4 to 8 inches of snow with traces of ice accumulation. The weather service warned that the heavy, wet snow could bring down tree branches and wires, leading to power outages. People are advised to stay at home, as roads will be hazardous and visibility limited to a quarter-mile,” wrote Aneri Pattani, Globe correspondant for this article.

It is a little disappointing because the Globe can definitely do better and has proved it in the past.

In March 2011, in “Rethinking snow“, Courtney Humphries, freelance journalist, did a very job finding a compelling story about snow. By including several loveable people such as Sergio Lopez-Pineiro, an architect and faculty member at the University of Buffalo, she found a way to talk about snow in a different way.

In February 2003 Erica Noonan, in “After storm, so much snow and so few places to put it,” succeeded in mixing weather forecast and an interesting story about getting rid of the snow that piles up the city.


Photo credit: Boston Public Library, “Auto, snow covered,” Creative Commons, Some Rights Reserved.