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 mderienzo@journalregister.com; Managing Editor Mark Brackenbury at mbrackenbury@nhregister.com; or City Editor Helen Bennett Harvey at hbennettharvey@nhregister.com.


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