Are you a newshound who is fiendish for fact checking? You can admit it. Most of us in the library and information professions are. We unflinchingly warn our patrons to cast a critical eye towards such concerns as authority, accuracy, and authenticity (the "three As" of facuality). Mistakes among our trusted resources are often sure to send shivers down many an info-pro's spine, as well as raise a hue and cry on our listservs and discussion boards. Yet, we are often hit with the reality that errors in reporting, especially in the media, are rampant today. Regret the Error is a site dedicated to helping us stay abreast of the "misses" – you know: miscalculations, mistatetements, misrepresentations, etc.
Launched in 2004, Regret the Error reports on corrections, retractions, apologies, clarifications in the media. It also covers trends regarding press accuracy and honesty. The man behind the site is Craig Silverman, a freelance journalist with some excellent credentials. In addition to serving as editor of Regret the Error, he is also a columnist for the Columbia Journalism Review and an associate editor for PBS MediaShift.
Regret the Error is by no means a lightweight site. Though it can be entertaining, it is also shocking at times. Silverman is serious about his role as fact-checker. His book, Regret the Error: How Media Mistakes Pollute the Press and Imperil Free Speech, won the Arthur Rowse Award for Press Criticism from the National Press Club.
In our industry, we like the facts to be facts and are all too well aware of how costly mistakes and poor reporting can be. Regret the Error is an excellent resource to not only help us get to the truth, but also remind us that we have to be ever vigilant as purveyors of the facts that we get from and for others.