Tuesday, 16 March 2010

A front page apology

This blog doesn't usually report on what is published in the Star Press newspaper from Muncie, Indiana, but today will be an exception.


Because the paper has put a fairly comprehensive apology on its front page, complete with explanation as to how the original error appeared.

And as much as they need criticising for the mistake, they need praising for being upfront and honest in admitting that mistake.

The paper explained:

[Tom] Collins, athletic director at Ball State, did not apply for the AD's job at Dixie State College. A Tom Collins did apply for that job, but it was a different Tom Collins, not Tom Collins of BSU.

But how's this for the start to their apology:

We screwed up. And to Tom Collins, we're sorry.

How often do you hear that from a British newspaper. The paper's sports editor, Greg Fallon, goes on to write:

We were all wrong.

And because we were, we brought potential harm to Tom Collins.

The bottom line: We should have called Collins when we first heard the rumors. We should have taken more care with our reporting. We should not have allowed a lack of decision time to rush our decision.

Sure, in a world that has come to expect stories quicker than instantly, news is perishable, but that's no excuse.

Please understand, the words we publish day in and day out, from top to bottom of this newspaper, are not written lightly. And Wednesday's story was no different.

Neither is this apology to Tom Collins, nor this explanation to you.

It's almost impossible to imagine a British newspaper - particularly a national - writing something such as this on their front page?

And yet, why shouldn't they?


  1. It seems to me that some of the "mistakes" that would warrant an apology are in fact deliberate errors, not sloppy research. And I suppose that's not something to admit to on the front page.

  2. A massive, novelty-sized hat-off to the Star Press for being so honest and candid. It's another world from the tabloid press. Depressing, really.

    Their website was down when I attempted to view it this morning - I can only presume this was under the weight of a flabbergasted and incredulous British public.


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