2016-19: John Lowman vs Vancouver Sun

Issue: adequate correction of error in an editorial

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A complaint about an inadequate correction to an editorial was resolved due to corrective action.

Prof. John Lowman made a complaint about a June 24, 2014, Opinion Editorial in the Vancouver Sun on issues related to prostitution laws and safety of sex workers.

He said the article made an error in fact, and on Feb. 8, 2016, requested a correction.

The original article is outside the NNC time frame for considering a complaint, but the request for a correction is within the time frame.

The paper pointed out that it made a correction, admitted its correction notice was not originally properly appended to the article, and rectified that issue.

The complainant was not satisfied with the correction, which he described as inadequate in pointing out the original error.

The paper said its policy is that corrections do not repeat a reporting error, however reasonable journalistic practice is for a correction to be clear about its relationship to the original.

A suggestion to modify the correction notice to indicate the specific area of correction was accepted as satisfactory to the complainant. At the same time the remedy met both the paper’s policy and the need to point to what aspect of the story has been corrected.

Council noted the paper recognized the complaint about the error, and subsequently that the correction was inadequate and poorly appended. The paper resolved the complaint through corrective action by making a suitable and appropriately published correction.