Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Picking Fights

A reader posts this in response to my item about the veracity of certain writings on Tracy Warner's blog:
Yikes, Nathan, retract claws. I doubt Warner meant any offense when he said your Fort Wayne Media Notes blog doesn't like Kelly. I remember reading that on Warner's blog. Since FWMN is a site for media commentary and criticism, I (and probably Tracy's other readers) took that statement to mean FWMN had a problem with Kelly professionally. Warner was just making a comment in context. I enjoy your blog, but these petty feuds of yours are getting boring. Maybe you could focus less on them and more on actual media criticism?
Hmm. I hesitate to beat a dead horse, as I've gotten caught up in doing exactly that in the past (see: Gabriel, Kelly and Locke, Victor), but I just want to clarify that I'm not taking issue with anything Tracy wrote that may have been negative towards me. This isn't about my feelings being hurt; I'm a big boy, and I can take criticism. It's about accuracy -- something that journalists and journalists who write about journalists ought to care about very deeply.

Forget the specific incident that I've been writing about. Let's just talk about accuracy in general. When anyone gets his facts wrong, I think he's obligated to correct the record. Especially in this particular medium, when it's so easy to issue a correction (trust me, I know), when someone writes something about you that you know is not accurate, I don't think it's out of line to request a correction. I've had a few readers write in to me in similar situations, and in each case, I immediately posted an update admitting my mistake and correcting it. Many other bloggers are similarly sensitive.

We can argue in this particular case whether it's really that big of a deal (the size of my indignation is due to the principle in question as opposed to the specific alleged infraction), but I think we can all agree that ensuring the veracity of published facts is not petty.

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