Wednesday 18 Jul 2018 | 07:37 | SYDNEY
Wednesday 18 Jul 2018 | 07:37 | SYDNEY

Banner headline: Newspaper admits error!


Michael Fullilove


1 July 2008 12:45

In an April post, I remarked on the high standards of the quality American press. In that case, an article in the Los Angeles Times caught my eye because it blatantly contravened the venerated practice of Australian media outlets of spruiking their own product and trashing their opponents'.

American and Australian newspapers also seem to have different conventions when it comes to corrections. I once succeeded in getting an Aussie broadsheet to correct a factual error, but the exercise was like pulling teeth — actually it was more like receiving root canal treatment. Naturally, the correction appeared in the most obscure corner of the paper in question. By contrast, look at this correction from Monday's Washington Post. The error in this case was minor: a photo caption a few days earlier had transposed the identifications of two actors in US TV series, 'Mad Men'. Not only did the Post fess up to the error on page 2 of the newspaper but it scrupulously reprinted the photo as well.

US media are not uniformly great, by any means. A lot of daily newspapers here are crummy; a trip to the supermarket reveals that while American tabloids are less racy than their British equivalents, they are equally cavalier with the truth. However, the professionalism of the best American newspapers and programs is impressive.