Monday, October 31, 2011

Plagiarism uncovered in deer carcass story

A serious incident of plagiarism was brought to our attention on Friday regarding an Oct. 26 Middletown Press story about the arrest of a man who was field-dressing a deer carcass near Wesleyan University. The story also appeared on the New Haven Register website and in its print edition. CLICK HERE for an editor's note explaining the actions we are taking in response to the incident.

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Correction: Remember, it's 'mnemonic'

A story published Sunday on a Sacred Heart Academy teacher who uses a special “Fab Five” method to teach trigonometry misspelled the word "mnemonic" as "pneumonic." SOHCAHTOA is a mnemonic device that helps students remember the ratios for trig functions. The letters stand for how the angles relate to each other.

Mnemonic is defined by Merriam-Webster as assisting or intended to assist memory. Pneumonic is defined as of, relating to, or affecting the lungs.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Correction: 'Pershing' misspelled in headline

A headline today misspelled Pershing on story about an Ansonia woman who was injured Thursday evening when she was struck by a vehicle on Pershing Drive.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Komisarjevsky's dad's words rankle

A couple of readers today condemned a headline on the front page of the New Haven Register that read: Komisarjevsky 'a miracle.'
This headline, one reader said, should not even make it to the headline of a tabloid paper.
The headline on the Register story on the website may have made more sense to some: “Komisarjevsky’s father testifies during penalty phase: ‘Josh was always a miracle to us’
That headline makes it clear that the use of the word “miracle” came directly from Joshua Komsarjevsky’s father, Ben.
But the paper headline also had what we call a “drop head” or headline that is placed below the main headline, which said, “Killer’s father recounts adoption, troubled childhood.”
That drop headline was used to express to the reader that the word “miracle” came from Ben Komisarjevsky, and not from the Register. The placement of the words “a miracle” within quote marks also signals the reader that the words came from someone other than us.
We take all comments about what we share at seriously, as we do complaints, suggestions and praise for our print product. Check back regularly on this blog as we address reader complaints and concerns.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Clarification: 'Field dressing' vs. 'field stripping' a deer

The Reigster ran a story from our colleagues at the Middletown Press today about a Berlin, Conn., man who was arrested for allegedly gutting a deer in a parking lot near Wesleyan University. The story is generating lots of interest, including from one man who wrote to point out that while the story, quoting the police report, refers to "field stripping" the deer, the proper term is actually "field dressing."


Correction: Middlefield (not Middletown) deal to sell Powder Ridge falls through

Because of an editing error, a headline over a story on Middlefield's deal to sell Powder Ridge falling through inadvertently referred to Middletown. The story had it right.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Check our facts, challenge our process, help us improve accuracy

Last year, we added a simple but hopefully clear and visible statement of accountability to our readers and sources on the New Haven Register's website.
Our "Fact Check" form at the bottom of every story asked readers to tell us if they find an error in our reporting.
Today, we're improving that program with a new form that gives readers the opportunity to expand those reports. It asks for ways that we could have improved the story, or other sources we should contact on the topic. It also gives readers an optional opportunity to provide their own contact information to be a source on the topic in the future.
But we're also adding what has been a key missing piece to - a clear, written corrections policy, corrections collected in one place on the web (this blog), and an outlet (again, this blog) for us to let you know what happens after you submit a "Fact Check" report.
We'll be using this outlet to publicize corrections to stories, to explain, if possible, how we made a particular mistake and to give you a better window into our reporting process.
We will also take some Fact Check reports that we could not confirm or feel were not valid and explain how we came to that conclusion and chose not to make a correction.
If you have any questions about this process, we'd love to talk to you.
You can reach me, Matt DeRienzo, at; Managing Editor Mark Brackenbury at; or City Editor Helen Bennett Harvey at

Monday, October 24, 2011

New Haven Register Corrections Policy

The New Haven Register strives for accuracy in the news stories and other content that are published on NHRegister.Com and in its print edition.
We are committed to correcting all errors that come to our attention, and encourage readers, story sources and the community at-large to point them out to us.
Errors can be brought to our attention in a number of ways, including contacting the reporter who wrote the story in question by email or phone, or contacting Executive Editor Mark Brackenbury at or 203-789-5708, or Managing Editor Helen Bennett Harvey at or 203-789-5730.
Readers can also use the "Fact Check" form that appears at the bottom of every story that we publish on NHRegister.Com. You can report errors anonymously, or provide an email and/or other contact information so that we can confirm receipt and/or action on the matter, and ask you to clarify if necessary.
We believe that no correction is too small to deserve our attention, and so we urge readers to notify us of everything from clear errors in fact, to misspelling of names, to improper or missing context that leads to a misrepresentation of the issue being discussed.
We strive to correct errors in our reporting as quickly as possible, and in several ways.
If a story has appeared both online and in print, we will print a correction in both places. Our Corrections box in the print edition of the New Haven Register appears daily on A2. Our Corrections page online is at NHRegister.Com/news/corrections.
Because we are able to edit stories online after they are initially published, we will do so to fix the information that was wrong. But we will also list a note at the bottom of the story marked "CORRECTION" that points out what was changed from the earlier version of the story. That correction note will also appear at NHRegister.Com/news/corrections.
Online and in print, we believe that corrections should repeat the error and then report what the correct information is so that readers get the full picture of how our reporting and/or editing went wrong.
We can't guarantee a mistake-free newspaper and website, but we can pledge to be transparent about how we deal with and correct mistakes. That is the goal of this corrections policy and corrections page. If you feel points are missing from this policy, please contact Executive Editor Mark Brackenbury at


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Expanded New Haven Register Fact Check Form