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Mediabugs: Keeping the media honest since today!

Mediabugs has a live beta up for reporting errors in media reports, initially in San Francisco. The site hopes that media will eventually put “Report an error” links into their online articles, as Scott Rosenberg (one of the folks behind Mediabugs) has started doing at his Wordyard blog.

5 Responses to “Mediabugs: Keeping the media honest since today!”

  1. 1) What happens when people start reporting “errors” like, well, think Fox News?

    2) What happens if the writer of the article basically says “I don’t care”?

  2. It might work, but most media do try their best to prevent errors in their articles. But, again, I like the idea behind it!

  3. Hi, Seth. Some answers:
    (1) We’re focusing on the fact end of
    the fact-opinion spectrum, recognizing that drawing that line is going to be hard work. “Fox news sucks” is not a legitimate MediaBug. “Fox News’ report on the health care reform bill stated X when in fact X is not true” would be one. Since we’re local based, for now, we’ll be avoiding the worst of the Red/Blue crossfire, though no doubt we’ll encounter some.

    (2) I’m sure some writers will do so. We believe there will still be value in our providing a clearinghouse for data about errors that are reported even if they are ignored by the media outlet that made them. We’re trying to take a process that has been a proprietary black box and make it more transparent. I think this has some potential for long-term good or I wouldn’t be working on it.

    There’s plenty more explanatory material on ou rvarious About pages at

    Oh, and David, that blog name is Wordyard. Though I’m sure some of the prose is wooden…

  4. Usually I get the anchor text right but the URL wrong. Sigh. I’ve fixed the typo. Thanks, Scott!

  5. 1) Oops, I meant “reporting “errors” IN THE MANNER OF Fox News. As in hypothetically “This report refers to global warming. In reality, global warming is not happening, see [insert denier article]”. Are you going to rule on such reports as site-owner? Have votes? Let each side battle it out?

    2) What has been a “black box”? People can write on website that reporters got something wrong, and in the general case, nobody cares. Only those with a sufficiently powerful platform can get heard, and that’s complicated politics in itself.

    These are pretty obvious obstacles, and can’t be wished away.

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