More “clarifications”

Media outlets not used to issuing corrections will tend to want to downplay them. Some (like CTV) will call them “clarifications” even if they’re outright falsehoods, to make it seem less serious.

A similar thing happens at the West Island Chronicle, which issued this “clarification” for an article it printed last week (which is no longer online):

In an article called “Catering to a tinier crowd,” (The Chronicle, Aug. 13, 2008, Back to School p. 3), it was implied that Yummy Tummy Catering will provide individual hot lunches for schoolchildren as well as for larger daycare centre orders. The company will only provide cold lunches for individual order. The article also implied the catering company was told by Lester B. Pearson school board it could go meet with individual schools to see whether or not they could do business with them. However, this was the company’s own initiative. Yummy Tummy can be contacted at 514-967-9318, not the number reported erroneously in the original article. The Chronicle regrets the error.

First of all, there is more than one error here. “Clarification” and “error” should be plural.

The first error says that it was “implied” that the company would provide individual hot lunches. But the article more than implied it:

When Andrea Levy and Stacey Park noticed some of their acquaintances simply did not have the time to prepare food for their children to take to school but did not want to leave them without a home-cooked meal for lunch, they had an idea. … “Not everybody takes part in the hot lunches (provided) at the schools,” explained Levy … The idea is to provide hot lunches to kids who need it at school … Officials at the latter told them they would have to meet with individual schools to find out where hot lunches are provided …

The second and third errors are simple factual errors (bad phone numbers are a common problem, and this one was off by one digit).

This isn’t a clarification, it’s a series of corrections.

Let’s get it right next time, folks.

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