Poynter has rounded up the best and worst media errors and corrections
of 2013, and there are some doozies. At the top of the list is a big one: The 60 Minutes
Benghazi story and CBS' failure to quickly acknowledge the story's flaws and come clean in a real way. They aired a false story rife with conflicts of interest, they had to be forced to admit there was anything wrong, and the internal investigation of what went wrong wasn't independent. It's brutal.
Poynter doesn't mention it, but while some news organizations like the New York Times and the Washington Post uncovered the problems with the story, Fox News went silent, not mentioning the retraction of a story they'd given blanket coverage when it was first (mis)reported.
Poynter's runner up points a finger at another piece of Rupert Murdoch's empire: the New York Post's infamous "bag men" cover, which identified two teenagers as suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings—teenagers who were entirely unconnected to the bombings and were not being sought by the FBI.
But while the big missed stories produce teeth-grinding rage, there's also a world of funny corrections to highlight. For instance, Poynter's runner-up for apology of the year, from The Sun:
In an article on Saturday headlined ‘Flying saucers over British Scientology HQ’, we stated “two flat silver discs” were seen “above the Church of Scientology HQ”. Following a letter from lawyers for the Church, we apologise to any alien lifeforms for linking them to Scientologists.
Slate had the runner-up correction of the year:
An earlier version of the Carlos Danger Name Generator suggested incorrectly that the Carlos Danger Name for Anthony Weiner is Armando Catastrophe. The Carlos Danger Name for Anthony Weiner is Carlos Danger.
Poynter has many more