The BUMPPY strives for a nimble, accurate and complete news report. We endeavor to be promptly responsive in correcting errors in material published on digital platforms and in print. When we run a correction, clarification or editor’s note, our goal is to tell readers, as clearly and quickly as possible, what was wrong and what is correct. Anyone should be able to understand how and why a mistake has been corrected.
Updating a digital report
Our individual pieces of journalism evolve as we sharpen and improve them. Our readers expect that from us in the digital age. It is unnecessary to put notes on stories stating that a story has been updated unless there is a particular reason to note the addition of new information or other change; the time stamp signals to readers that they are reading a developing story. It is necessary to use a correction, clarification or editor’s note to inform readers whenever we correct a significant mistake.
If we are substantively correcting an article, photo caption, headline, graphic, video or other material, we should promptly publish a correction explaining the change.
When our journalism is factually correct but the language we used to explain those facts is not as clear or detailed as it should be, the language should be rewritten and a clarification added to the story. A clarification can also be used to note that we initially failed to seek a comment or response that has since been added to the story or that new reporting has shifted our account of an event.
A correction that calls into question the entire substance of an article, raises a significant ethical matter or addresses whether an article did not meet our standards, may require an editor’s note and be followed by an explanation of what is at issue. A senior editor must approve the addition of an editor’s note to a story.
Other corrections policies
- When an error is found by a reader and posted to the comment stream, the audience engagement team should indicate in comments that it has been corrected.
- If we have sent out incorrect information in an alert, we should send out an alert informing people that the news reported in the earlier alert was wrong and give readers the accurate information.
- When we publish erroneous information on social networks, we should correct it on that platform.
- We do not attribute blame to individual reporters or editors (e.g. “because of a reporting error” or “because of an editing error”). But we may note that an error was the result of a production problem or because incorrect information came to us from a trusted source (wire services, individuals quoted, etc.).
Take-down (unpublish) requests
Because of the ease with which our published content can be searched and retrieved online, even years after publication, we are increasingly being asked to take down (or “unpublish”) articles from our website.
As a matter of editorial policy, we do not grant take-down requests, which should be vetted at the highest level. If the subject claims that the story was inaccurate, we should be prepared to investigate and, if necessary, publish a correction. And there may be situations in which fairness demands an update or follow-up coverage — for example, if we reported that a person was charged with a crime but did not report that the charges were later dismissed for lack of evidence. In short, our response will be to consider whether further editorial action is warranted, but not to remove the article as though it had never been published. When we publish publicly available personal data, we only will review takedown requests if the person involved is under threat of physical harm because of the existence of the material.