I am of the firm belief that nobody loves twitter like a journalist loves twitter. That being said, nobody is exempt from mistakes — least of all on a medium that relies so much on speed.

This article from Poynter uses Slate as an example on how news outlets and journalists ought to make corrections to tweets.

The article begins with an error Slate made on twitter: with a link to a story that involved Vladimir Putin, they sent out a tweet with a photo of Javier Bardem.

If it wasn’t apparent, the two look nothing alike.

Instead of deleting the tweet and hiding their mistake, however, Slate use the reply function on twitter to thread the original, mistaken, tweet with the tweet that clarified their mistake.

By using this strategy, anyone who sees the correction will see it in context, and anyone who sees the mistaken tweet will see the correction.

Slate uses this strategy because they “almost never” want to delete a tweet or entirely remove the evidence of mistakes.

Slate’s copy editor in charge of corrections at Slate said that they have found readers appreciate it when corrections are handled in such a way: it shows that Slate is being upfront with their audience.

I wholeheartedly agree with Slate’s corrections philosophy. If we, as journalists, expect our governments to be transparent and expect our sources to be open with us (in most cases), shouldn’t we, too, be transparent and open? In a profession as reliant on honesty, it falls on the practitioners to set the right examples.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *