Sunday, September 06, 2015

Today in standards

Well, what would you do if y0u were the Nation's Newspaper of Record and a famous author called to say a bunch of the stuff you printed about his personal life in a book review was, um, made up?

In reviewing this complaint, editors determined that the reviewer had based his account of these matters mostly on information from an article about Vargas Llosa in The Daily Mail, but neither the reviewer nor editors independently verified those statements. Using such information is at odds with The Times’s journalistic standards, and it should not have been included in the review.

Nice as far as it goes, but a little more clarity on those journalistic standards would be nice. Does this mean that you shouldn't use other outlets' stories without verifying them or that you shouldn't lift stuff from the Daily Mail, period? (Both good ideas, but not the same good idea.) Or just that someone forgot to remind the reviewers not to make up their own facts?

And on the "yes, you could have looked it up" front:

The review also misspelled Isabel Preysler’s surname. It is not Presyler.

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