Poynter creates and edits journalism in ways aimed at anticipating problem areas, reducing mistakes and correcting them as quickly and transparently as we can. We maintain an online corrections page that makes it easy for our audience to report errors. We provide timely responses, clear corrections and prominent acknowledgement that a mistake was made and addressed.
Please do not hesitate to flag any mistakes through our social media accounts or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We recognize that corrections can be made to errors of differing gravity. While we will edit all errors as soon as they come to our attention, corrections will vary in style and prominence. More specifically:
- Typographical errors, while embarrassing for a journalism school, do not usually damage a reader’s understanding of a story. Misspelled proper nouns, including references to names and places, will be corrected with a brief explanation of our edit.
- An error in the research or reporting for a secondary aspect of an article will be explained in detail. Secondary aspects are elements of context whose inclusion or removal do not affect the central tenets of the article. We will specify how we were made aware of the error and when we updated the story. To the extent that it’s possible, we will explain what led us to make the error and be clear about the flaws in the original version. We will apologize for our error.
- Major corrections, i.e. any that concern the headline, lead or central tenets of the article, will be placed at the top of an edited article. The correction will explain in detail the flaws to the original story, what led to the error and, if applicable, the organizational steps taken to avoid a similar error occurring in the future. The text will also specify how we were made aware of the error and when we corrected it. We will apologize for our error.
We understand that even articles without factual mistakes may require clarifications. The style and prominence of the clarification will depend on its impact on the original article, as with corrections.
Social media corrections policy
We understand that our responsibility to correct extends to our social media accounts. Any article that has been subject to a major correction (see above) will be republished on all the official Poynter.org social media accounts it was originally shared on with a clear indication that the article was updated and corrected.
- On Facebook, we will edit the original post with a short indication of the correction made.
- On Twitter, we will share the corrected version of the article with a new tweet. Poynter will reply to that tweet with an image of the correction for transparency’s sake. We will delete the original erroneous tweet to avoid spreading misinformation.
- On other distributed platforms, Poynter will append a correction where possible — after a livestream concludes, for example, or below a post on the relevant social network.
We will similarly update any posts, tweets or other social media content whose original article was correct but that was shared on social media incorrectly. If an original post was wrong to the point of being offensive or dangerous, we may delete it and indicate in the correction post that we have done so and why.
Newsletter corrections policy
Minor corrections to a newsletter will be reported in the next edition of the same newsletter, in a dedicated section at the bottom. Major corrections to the newsletter or to articles linked in the newsletter will be given the same prominence of the original report.