General UK Media

Editor’s note on why corrections matter – the perfect is the enemy of the good


We’d like to respond to those who strongly support our work promoting accurate reporting of Israel, but sometimes question the impact of such corrections.  Who notices, some have asked, the tiny blurb on page 32 of the newspaper the following day?  The damage, they assert, has already been done with the original smear, distortion or inaccuracy.  

In response to such sincere skepticism over the efficacy of CAMERA’s focus on corrections, it’s important to note that the tiny blurb in the paper is far from the only achievement.  The question of who reads that small bit in the print paper is not as important as the fact that we’ve set the record straight, and that journalists and editors are far less likely to make the same error again – sometimes motivated by professionalism, other times merely out of fear of being embarrassed again.   

UK Media Watch prompted print correction at the Daily Mail on Nov. 27, 2017.

Also of significance is the fact that most people get their news online and, when we prompt revised language to an article that originally contained false assertion, the new accurate language is what news consumers will read when they come across the article. 

UK Media Watch prompted online correction at the Financial Times, Nov. 2, 2017

Finally, there’s the cumulative effect that our monitoring, and our prompting of corrections, has on journalists. 

Though we can’t change their personal opinion on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the fact that they know we monitor every word they write about Israel has the effect of making their writers more careful.  In addition to the corrections we garner, those of us who monitor media outlets day after day can see the impact in other ways – in, for instance, improvements over time in the language used about Jerusalem, and in other ways which are sometimes difficult to quantify.  The Guardian’s then Readers’ Editor wearily acknowledged in 2011, in an article responding to charges of antisemitism in their coverage of Israel and clearly alluding to our criticism, that “organisations monitoring the Guardian’s coverage” studiously hold the Guardian accountable to the facts and language in their articles and op-eds.

We will continue to do so.

The result of our work isn’t revolutionary change in their reporting, but – by holding them accountable to the most fundamental professional duty, to tell the truth – improved coverage.  In life, as in media monitoring, the perfect is often the enemy of the good.  

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19 replies »

  1. You have hit the nail on the head
    It is the knowledge that they are being monitered, and the fact that these corrections will be noticed by the management and editorial boards, that will ensure journalists check the reality of their claims before printing.
    Too many errors requiring correction can cost a journalist their future/career
    Thanks for your dedication and hard work

  2. I don’t see a Times correction for the error UKMW spotted in the Aaronovitch piece recently. Maybe they just say they will correct.

  3. ” in, for instance, improvements over time in the language used about Jerusalem, and in other ways which are sometimes difficult to quantify.”

    AKA censorship.

    Wow this hole is truly a bastion of creepy pro-Israel ideas promotion – I wonder where you got the idea from…..?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestine_Media_Watch

    This site watches nothing, it’s merely a vehicle for Zionists to bitch about other people who criticise their state – as well as a forum for ‘victim playing’ when the shoe is on the other foot.

    • Tim, you got a problem with Zionists, i.e. Jews who strived for and have achieved their autonomy?

      See, Tim, I don’t think the problem is us. You guys have spent how many thousands of years demeaning Jews and blaming us for just about everything?

      Tim, you stupid, pathetic asshat. Why are you intimidated by Jews who don’t want to be stabbed to death by a warring Arabian mass?

      Go watch TV, Tim. Let the Masters of Deception continue to poke holes in that swiss cheese brain of yours. Trust me. Not having you on my side isn’t an issue.

    • And we wonder where you get your ideas from, but there is a list of suspects. Of course, you are entitled to your opinions, but it is my view that going through life as a stupid and ignorant, bigoted creep is a dead end. Still, it is your life, and if you want to spend your limited time on this earth being stupid, ignorant and bigoted it’s really no one’s business. And if you happen to enjoy making a complete jackass of yourself by exposing your stupidity, ignorance, and bigotry to people who know better and know you to be an embarrassment you’ve done a truly fine job.

    • ” as well as a forum for ‘victim playing’ when the shoe is on the other foot.”

      As opposed to blaming Israel for when you misplace your shoes. Which, I hear, is a big deal in pro-Palestinian Blah Blah Land

    • Seriously you wet end, if you’re thid obsessed with a subject you should sound like less of an idiot when you talk about it.

  4. “Though we can’t change their personal opinion on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the fact that they know we monitor every word they write about Israel has the effect of making their writers more careful” – if only, Adam, if only.

    Propaganda sheets pretending to be newspapers, from deranged cesspits like the Guardian to soi-disant serious sources like the utterly useless Times, keep repeating the same lies about Israel over and over and over.

    • Stephen ‘Hung like a Hamster’ Bellamy, IF Adam feels ‘irrelevant’ then he is wrong to have that feeling.
      However you ARE not only irrelevant but a complete waste of space as well.
      But I doubt that you with your over blown sense of your own importance, and complete lack of wit. Feels anything but an irresistable urge to masturbate at your own reflection every time you see it.

      Now off you jog back to David Collier’s site and take your little lapdog ‘Farmer’, or ‘Davy’ or whatever fake alias he/she/it is using today.

        • Poor old Stephen ‘Hung like a Hamster’ Bellamy once again you attempt and fail to use humour to cover up your inability to post a suitable response. Apart from your other shortcomings you really are not the sharpest tool in the toolbox are you.
          The contrast between two Irishmen could not be more stark and obvious. Oscar Wilde was a shining wit, whereas you are a boring whining shit!
          Face it you are one of life’s perpetual losers.

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