Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Episode 12: Care Through Correction

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Episode 12: Care Through Correction considers another way to regard the increasingly tabloid press we suffer today, a press that must concern itself more with grabbing eyeballs and earholes to appease its advertisers than it may concern itself with tenets of good journalism, touchstones like sobriety, verifiability, and—most of all—accuracy. Could it be that this increasingly unreliable press of ours is actually abrogating its responsibility not just to its audience, but to the society in which it operates? Can it be—with lurid and shallow reporting, with less and less concern about correcting past errors—failing in its implicit duty of care?

As Lord David Puttnam asks in his TED Talk, what happens when the media's priority is profit?

I made some corrections in this episode to Planet Money's Episode 524: Me and Mr. Jones. In the interest of holding myself to the standards I beg the media to re-embrace, check my checking yourself by heading over to Wikipedia and looking up both the Merchant Marine Act of 1924 (aka the Jones Act) and the Passenger Vessel Services Act of 1886. They are different. See for yourself!

Music by Psychadelik Pedestrian, "Pacific"; Springtide, "Little Pink Guitar (in that closet)"; and (of course!) Mistle Thrush.

Addendum, The Next Day: The quick and accurate ears of listener l33tminion note that 34 years separate the Passenger Vessel Services Act from the Jones Act, not 24 as I stated in the episode. I regret the error.


  1. Good episode!

    You got a bit of arithmetic wrong, though. The Passenger Vessel Services Act of 1886 was 34 years before the Jones Act in 1920, not 24.

    Also, NPR does have a form for submitting corrections, though I don't know if they're as obsessive about correcting inaccuracies in their records as the NYT.

  2. D'oh! 34 years. Math was never my strong suit, alas. I would have managed my English major so much better if I could have conquered and better used those page numbers.

    Interesting that they have a separate form for submitting corrections. I wonder how new that is, or if I simply didn't notice the option when I submitted a comment so many years ago. Thanks for that. Still, the existence of that form doesn't obviate the oversight of not reading comments to their own episodes, in my opinion. Requiring just the right form strikes me as a bit Vogon in its hiding behind bureaucratic points of order to ignore legitimate requests.

    In the interest of keeping to the theme of the episode, the correction shall be made henceforth! Thanks!