Monday, August 12, 2013

New York Times’ On-Line Revisions: No Notice? No Comment? No Correction?

I thought the New York Times had a policy that, if the on-line version of a story was changed to reflect some error, a note would indicate that at the bottom of the story. And if the error was also in the original print story, the paper would soon publish a correction.  

In Friday’s print edition, David Brooks’ column, The Nudge Debate, focused on possible applications of techniques discussed in Nudge, by Cass Sunstein’s, and which Prof. Sunstein has recently expanded upon in a lecture at Yale (and which will be the subject of his next book, Nanny Statecraft). “Nudge” is all about small measures governments can take to influence public behavior: making organ donation on drivers’ license application forms opt-out, instead of opt-in, that sort of thing. 

In Brooks’ print column, he says the Obama administration has created a “Behavioral Insights Team” to apply such techniques to their policy goals. But the on-line version only says that the administration has “announced that it is creating” such a team. Big, big difference, and no indication in the on-line article, or on the corrections page, about this change:

Did Brooks rush his original column and confused the Behavioral Insights Team established in the UK with possible similar efforts here? Does he do his research at InfoWars.Com? The Obama administration is really just at the applicant solicitation stage. So, New York Times? What’s up with the on-line change and no correction (as of today)?