Wanted: a policy of clear and transparent corrections

Following up on this tortuous clarification post from last night, I see that the Chronicle's Jason Spencer has written a story about HISD employees submitting proposals to take over management of three underperforming HISD high schools. It appears to be in response to yesterday's KPRC-2 story. In an eight paragraph story, here is paragraph seven:

Saavedra blamed a front-page Houston Chronicle article that said he wanted to bring in outsiders to fix the schools for throwing parents into a panic.

Just for the record, I emailed Jason Spencer and the Chronicle's reader representative, James T. Campbell, yesterday when I saw that Saavedra had issued a clarification and had criticized the Chronicle's coverage. In my email, I asked for any insight regarding the superintendent's criticism, in case there were other facts, from the Chronicle's point of view, that we should take into consideration.

I have yet to receive a response from either of them.

I noted yesterday that a paragraph in Spencer's original story had been changed in the online verson, from what was in Wednesday's paper. Today I went back and looked at the rest of Spencer's original Wednesday story, and I found another change. Here's what the first paragraph said, in the print newspaper version:

The Houston schools chief announced Tuesday he wants outsiders to take control of the city's three lowest-performing high schools to accomplish what the school system hasn't been able to do on its own.

Here is what the online story now says:

The Houston schools chief announced Tuesday he would consider giving outsiders control of the city's three lowest-performing high schools to accomplish what the school system hasn't been able to do on its own.

Some professional journalists have shown a tendency to be dismissive of blogs for not following their standards of "journalism." This is a perfect example of where professional journalists could take a lesson from bloggers, since responsible bloggers aim for clear and transparent corrections and clarifications.

Posted by Anne Linehan @ 02/18/05 12:35 PM | Print |

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