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October 19, 2006

Retraction

In a post earlier this week on citizen journalism I told how a story which began on David Pogue’s NY Times blog was further explored not only on my blog and that of Alex Saunders but also by commenters on all three blogs.  I then asserted “none of us, professional or amateur, has pressed the company itself for a reply.”  I was wrong.  To compound my mistake, I didn’t ask either David or Alex if they had contacted the company; I just assumed they hadn’t because they didn’t write anything about doing that.

David corrected me in a comment on my original post:

“You write: "But note that this isn’t all you should expect from journalism.... none of us, professional or amateur, has pressed the company itself for a reply."

“That's actually not true. *I* pressed the company head, Tom Doolin, for an explanation. Later, I even ran your theory by him (about arbitraging the terminating carrier fees).

“He refused to discuss it, and will say only that he may start using his built-up goodwill for advertising at some point.

“So I got nothing out of him, but that's not the same as saying I never inquired. :)

“--David Pogue”

A nice thing about blogging is the correction mechanisms.  David posted his correction while I was on a plane and it immediately appeared with the original post, immune from any editorial constraint. And, unlike traditional print, I can go back and correct the original article (I’m going to do that right now) so new readers won’t get bad information.

Better to be careful in the first place, though. Lesson learned for me.

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