Monday, January 20, 2014

Paul Krugman's New Job: Editor of WSJ

This strikes me as funny. Krugman writes:
So Bret Stephens of the WSJ has contacted the Times to protest my remark, in today’s column, that his error in using nominal incomes has not been corrected on the WSJ’s website. I actually anticipated something like this, and saved a copy of his original column as it appeared yesterday, just in case a correction suddenly appeared.
But it turns out that this isn’t the nature of Mr. Stephens’s protest. Instead, he points to an online post he put out admitting, with a minimum of grace, that using nominal incomes was wrong.
Sorry, but that’s not what I — or, if I may speak for my employer, The New York Times — calls a correction.
What, after all, is the purpose of a correction? If you’ve misinformed your readers, the first order of business is to stop misinforming them; the second, so far as possible, to let those who already got the misinformation know that they were misinformed. So you fix the error in the online version of the article, including an acknowledgement of the error; and you put another acknowledgement of the error in a prominent place, so that those who read it the first time are alerted. In the case of Times columnists, this means an embarrassing but necessary statement at the end of your next column.
Nothing like that happened in Stephens’s case. Someone reading his original column on line will see exactly the same piece that was originally published, bogus statistics and all, with no hint of a problem and no link to his mea culpa.(Or at least that was true a few minutes ago — maybe they’ll scramble to fix it now.) Maybe one in a hundred will hear somewhere that there was a problem — but for everyone else the misinformation is continuing to spread.
Suffice to say, Krugman is much better at understanding and writing on correction notices than  economics.

1 comment:

  1. The WSJ certainly does need an editor. I have seen no evidence that their editorial page even has one! First of all, they let the use of nominal numbers through in the first version of the editorial in question. What's amazing is that they seem incapable of fixing the original editorial online even after they have admitted the errors. I've posted more on this at .