The good folks at Check Your Facts recently published an item stating that the roll out of the New York Times internal corrections database is complete. The paper is now entering all of its corrections into a central database, much like how the Boston Globe, Rocky Mountain News and a few other US papers have been doing. Reports CYF:
Check Your Facts has learned that the New York Times may finally be making good on one of the recommendations laid out in a 2005 report titled “Preserving Our Readers’ Trust.”
Fresh from a "training class," a well-placed source at the Times says a computerized tracking system for corrections is being implemented.
Correspondent Adam Klasfeld learned of the new system through correspondence with a New York Times editor (Check Your Facts is withholding the editor's name in order to maintain open communications on the matter). The NYT editor said that no tracking system as described in the report currently exists but that a “training class” was held for a new system. “We are just implementing it,” wrote the editor. “We are beginning with corrections on October 1.”
We reported on the roll out of the system in December of last year after speaking with Greg Brock, the paper's corrections editor:
A final note from the Times: Brock says the paper does have a corrections database that is being used by some departments. Each department can see its own corrections tally, and Brock has access to the total data. He says they are working to roll it out within all departments. This database was one of the recommendations of the Siegal Committee. It's good to see the paper following up on this project. We hope it's fully operational ASAP.
In an email response this week, Brock said the system was fully operational as of September 17. "So it is in place, though we are continuing to train editors who will use it only occasionally because they work on sections or special issues of magazines that publish just a few times a year," he wrote. "The main news desks are already using it."
We asked if the paper plans to release its tallies the way some other paper do (see these links: 1, 2, 3, 4), and Brock said the issue hadn't yet been raised, but that he would look into it. As of now, he is distributing reports to the relevant editors on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis in order to show them the most common types of errors in their sections. It's good to hear the data is being put to use to help fuel preventative initiatives.