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Hypergene MediaBlog » Audience can be a good editor, if you let them
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Audience can be a good editor, if you let them

Anyone who watched last night’s Red Wings vs. Mighty Ducks game knows that the headline on this ESPN page is way off.

ESPN Bad headline

Giguere was pulled in the second period after allowing four goals. Now, it’s unclear whether this is ESPN’s mistake, or whether it came with the story over the AP wire feed. Regardless, we have no way of alerting ESPN of this mistake. In the Contact Us section there is no clear place to send this type of information.

Participatory journalism is about communicating and collaborating with your audience. ESPN gathers mountains of stats and information. Some of it is bound to be wrong. But why not enable the fanatics of each player-team-sport help you get it right? Does anyone have a good example of a news agency that’s doing this right?

Update (Dec. 7): Steve Outing concurs on Poynter’s E-Media Tidbits.

Posted on Dec 04, 2003 | 9:15 am EST

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Reader Comments

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Hi there.  Thanks for the writeup.  At the bottom of almost every single page on ESPN.com (including the one you mentioned), there is a link labeled “Report a Bug”.  Clicking this link pops up a window containing exactly the sort of thing you’re asking for.

Now… should the link say “Report a bug or error”?  Perhaps.  But we’ve had the Report a Bug feature on ESPN.com pretty much since the site’s inception in the mid 90s and plenty of people use it not only to report technical bugs, but editorial errors as well.

To answer your other question, yes, this is an AP wire story which comes to us via a feed and thus, cannot be altered in any way, but when people complain, word eventually gets to the right people.

Thanks,

Mike Davidson
ESPN.com

Posted by: Mike D. on Dec 04, 03 | 12:21 pm EST

… and sure enough, a few minutes after my original response to your post, the headline is now correct.

For the record, I had nothing to do with this.  Most likely a user report, or something else within AP, triggered it.

Thanks,

Mike

Posted by: Mike D. on Dec 04, 03 | 3:16 pm EST

Mike -

First, kudos to ESPN for correcting the mistake. However, “Report a Bug” is nomenclature that I understood as a technical problem, not as a place to convey editorial issues. “Editorial Feedback” would be more logical. Also, why not reference this feedback loop in the Contact US FAQ?

Posted by: shayne on Dec 05, 03 | 8:44 am EST

The New York Post made it onto the newsstands during the National League championship series with a Yankees Blow It! headline: The Yanks actually pulled out victory in the 11th.  The Post could not cover its boner without a costly additional print run. Lesson: The joy of participatory online journalism is real-time updates and corrections.

Posted by: BlogalVillager on Dec 30, 03 | 1:20 am EST

 

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