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21 August 2006

So I asked for a correction to an article at SFGate... ...and I got a bitchy and unprofessional response from the reporter.

What should I do?
Go over his head to his editor, of course. I can't imagine individual reporters have the power to run corrections, anywa.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 21 August | 16:07
write an l.t.e. and include the reporter's response.
posted by syntax 21 August | 16:08
See here -- especially the line that says "It will be considered unprofessional conduct and a breach of duty if employees are notified of possible errors but fail to respond."

The reporter didn't fail to respond, but responded in what you considered an unprofessional way. Forward his/her response to the email address listed on the page above.
posted by mudpuppie 21 August | 16:11
Reporters are usually heavy drinkers who don't make much money and work under terribly tight deadlines. You probably caught this one at the tail end of a week long bender he went on after having to write a piece on an obscure WTO ruling.

Send him a bottle of gin to smooth things over.
posted by cmonkey 21 August | 16:16
Well, we'll have to deal with this reporter again, so I'm afraid to go over her head. I did email Leah Garchik, who's an old email pal, without IDing the reporter and asked for her advice.

Can someone send me the gin, instead? I'm sitting here crying at my desk for no reason. :(
posted by psho 21 August | 16:23
I clicked MP's link. BOY! There are MANY corrections on that page!!!
posted by getoffmylawn 21 August | 16:26
OK -- Leah says contact the Reader's Rep (who's on vacation) or send it to Robert Rosenthal (who's an editor, I gather).

I'm just going to sit for a bit.
posted by psho 21 August | 16:36
I'm really curious as to what the reporter said to you.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 21 August | 16:44
I'm guessing that psho stands for pesto shortage, and you're angry at the implication that you were conceived by hailstones in Italy.

posted by seanyboy 21 August | 17:41
Corrections are factual in nature and are handled by editors, not reporters. Do not contact reporters about stories that have already run, contact their editor.

If it's a quote and the reporter says they have notes, you are SOL and might as well just move on.

There is little percentage in trying to control content or slant of articles, but you can always refuse comment when contacted later if you feel you have been treated unfairly. Alternately, you can state your position by press release and then stick to those talking points when contacted.

There is nothing to be gained by getting into a pissing match with people who buy ink by the barrel.
posted by warbaby 21 August | 18:44
I clicked MP's link. BOY! There are MANY corrections on that page!!!

Including this one, which is pretty ironic, considering the date and content:

(can you run a correction of a correction?)

In Friday's Sporting Green, an article about track coach Trevor Graham incorrectly listed sprinter Marion Jones among athletes who have tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs or been suspended due to the use of drugs. Jones has not tested positive or been suspended. (8/6)
posted by dersins 21 August | 18:54
Well, she got huffy because I contacted Feedback@sfgate after not seeing a response from her (and I didn't get one for two weeks). "You should have dealt with me!" yadda yadda.

Well, lady (and I use the term loosely), I tried!

posted by psho 21 August | 19:10
Sigh, the San Francisco Chronicle. I remember when the Sporting Green was green, and the Pink Section on Sundays was pink.
posted by eekacat 21 August | 20:46
Ignore what she said, psho. Any mistake made by a reporter is fair game to be reported to anyone in the organization. She should know this.

If you want to keep her happy for some particular reason then go ahead, but relying on a specific reporter for publicity is a bad idea. You would also be colluding with her in violating journalistic ethics, which at a small level will probably never cause trouble, but just know that you're dealing with a person who is already breaking rules. Who knows what else she's up to.
posted by halonine 22 August | 12:25
Well, if it were just me, I'd write to the Managing Editor and say something like "I'm confused -- is this the level of professionalism to be expected of Chronicle reporters?"

But I run the risk of screwing up the relationship the press secretary has with this reporter, and in the real world it *is* about relationships, and we can't afford to have this reporter annoyed with our organization, as unethical as that may be. This reporter has already displayed a lack of judgment.

It sucks.
posted by psho 22 August | 12:42
Quick opinion poll: || Unusual but good ethnic food combinations? We have a restaurant here...