While new technology has changed just about everything when it comes to newspapers, some aspects persist. One of them is the regrettable presence of errors - they used to exist in print, and now they occur also online.
Thanks to technology, however, there are new tools that help combat mistakes in reporting. Writing for Poynter, Craig Silverman examined how the New York Times keeps track of - and reacts to - errors on its pages and website.
Thanks to an internal database that the Times uses to track errors and corrections, the paper noticed that articles by one of its freelancers were being corrected increasingly often. This allowed it to investigate the issue - and eventually to find a solution.
What the Times discovered was that the writer in question was being commissioned by several desks and was, probably, overworked. This resulted in a spike in errors. Thus, the paper cut back the number of assignments, and correspondingly the accuracy of the freelancer's reporting improved.
The case of the freelancer was one of the aspects that Arthur Brisbane, the Public Editor of the New York Times discussed in his column, which discusses the issue of errors and corrections at the paper and in the press in general.