Bill Doskoch: Media, BPS*, Film, Minutiae

Curated knowledge, trenchant insights & witty bon mots

The Star’s correction of the year

Out of 870 published corrections in 2015 (496 were for online stories), Toronto Star public editor Kathy English picked one as being the correction of the year.

From the Star (“Correction of the year? Love it!: Public Editor“):

Our cringeworthy “correction of the year” addressed an embarrassing error in the Star’s report of the death last April of the beloved Lois Lilienstein, of the internationally popular children’s singing group Sharon, Lois and Bram.

Two generations of fans — baby boom parents and their millennial children — who (like me and my kids) watched Sharon, Lois and Bram’s The Elephant Show on TV almost daily in the 1980s and 1990s well know the signature song “Skinnamarink” that ended every show. And, of course, those endearing “I love you” hand motions that accompanied the song.

Not so the reporter who in reporting on Lilienstein’s death at age 78 from a rare form of cancer, told you that “Generations sang the nonsense song ‘Skinnamarinky Dinky Dink’ along with the trio about how they would ‘love it in the morning and in the afternoon, love it in the evening and underneath the moon’.”

Not quite right. As the reader who first brought this groaner to our attention put it, “Your reporter is possibly the only person in Canada who doesn’t know the lyrics to ‘Skinnamarink’.”

Indeed, that error led to an awkwardly worded, widely shared correction that told you, “In fact, the signature song stated, ‘I love you in the morning and in the afternoon … love you in the evening …,’ not “love it …”

All in all, corrections were up six per cent at the Star in 2015.

Print corrections dropped about 15 per cent from the 435 newspaper corrections of 2014. Not surprisingly, given the amount of content published 24/7 online, website errors jumped in 2015 — more than 25 per cent from 388 in 2014. That increase could well also be partially due to our efforts to better track online-only corrections.

Since launching Star Touch in mid-September, we published 75 corrections to tablet content, with many of those errors also appearing in print and online. We will re-engineer our tracking methods in 2016 to monitor “tablet-only” corrections for next year’s corrections report.

Sat, January 2 2016 » Main Page, Media