Signal Cleveland is transparent about its reporting process, which includes alerting readers to errors and clarifications made to published stories.
Digital publishing makes it easy to make changes to stories, but Signal Cleveland wants to avoid “stealth editing” — substantial changes made to stories without alerting readers.
Here are guidelines that our editors and reporters adhere to when making corrections.
Updating a digital report
If we publish a breaking news story without hearing from a key subject of the story, it makes sense to alert readers to updates.
However, on developing or breaking news stories, it’s not necessary to put notes on stories stating that a story has been updated unless there is a particular reason to note the addition of new information or other change.
We use a correction, clarification or editor’s note to inform readers whenever we correct a significant mistake or make a significant change to a story. This applies to articles, photo captions, headlines, graphics, video and other material.
When our report is factually correct but the language we use to explain the facts is not as clear or detailed as it should be, the language should be rewritten and a clarification added to the story.
A clarification can also be used to note that we initially failed to seek a comment or response that has since been added to the story, or that new reporting has shifted our account of an event.
Typos happen. Our team will fix them as quickly as possible. We will not note when we’ve added a missing modifier or missing period, misspelled word, etc.
If we misspell a subject’s name on first reference, we will add a note that we incorrectly spelled the name and have now fixed it.
If we spell a name correctly throughout most of the story but misspell it once, we will just fix it.
If we incorrectly state the name or acronym of an institution, we will correct it and note we did so. The same applies to titles.
Facts and figures
If we publish any figure that is incorrect, we will fix it and note the change. We will also go a step further if the correction substantially changes the weight of the figure or story. Example: The cost of building a new jail is $1.2 million. But the correct figure is $1.2 billion. That’s a difference we will explain and show how it shifts the story.
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