The Star tries to make up its mind

[January 28 update: the Star‘s public editor addressed my complaint in her column today. Here’s my reaction.]

[January 26 update: the Star finally prepended a correction to the article yesterday, more than a full day later. I’ll have more to say about it in a couple of days.]

Although the Star is somewhat notorious for its editing mistakes, it’s not often that you see the same story covered under two completely contradictory headlines. But such was the case today when a story about a raise for town councillors in Whitchurch-Stouffville first appeared and was later updated:

Town council votes itself a giant raise. Or not.

Half an hour later:

Town council votes itself a giant raise. Or not.

I didn’t have a chance to read the first version of the story, but it’s clear that at least a couple of the early commenters on the article saw a story about a 43% raise. Based on the headline alone, a correction should be appended to the online article. No such luck. It’s worth noting that the URL for the story also changed, from:–whitchurch-stouffville-council-votes-itself-43-per-cent-raise?bn=1


Both URLs currently take you to the same version of the story, but that’s only because to the Star‘s chosen content management system, this is also a valid link to the story:–the-toronto-star-cant-get-its-story-straight?bn=1

A lot of minor corrections are fixed silently and go unnoticed, but an error on this scale requires some sort of acknowledgement.

I’ve written an email to the Star‘s public editor, Kathy English, in the hope that this kind of situation may be addressed in the future.

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