Political Perspectives is produced by the students and faculty of Carleton University's School of Journalism and Communication, Canada's oldest journalism school.


Ooops. Wrong number

Posted by jsallot under Election 2008, Election 2008 Faculty links, Election 2008 Media commentary


The Ottawa Sun’s Greg Weston reports Nanos Research poll numbers today suggesting Stephen Harper’s Conservatives are on track for a majority.

Reporting from the campaign trail in Quebec, Weston says Nanos found that even among Liberal voters 38 per cent indicate they “are OK with the prospect of Harper’s having a majority.”

Say what?

An accompanying graphic actually shows 16 per cent of Liberal supporters told the pollster they are comfortable with a Harper majority and 12 per cent are somewhat comfortable. Even when you add those together it is just 28 per cent.

Weston said in an email it was just a typo. He hit a numeral three instead of two.

Typos happen. Did I ever tell you about the time I got the decimal place wrong in a story about new taxi fares in Toronto?  

The challenge for Sun Media will be to see how quickly editors fix the error in the online version of Weston’s story. By midday, the online piece still had the wrong number. To err is human, to fix errors quickly is good journalism.

Jeff Sallot teaches journalism at Carleton University. A former Ottawa bureau chief for The Globe and Mail, he has covered nine federal election campaigns and is a life member of the Parliamentary Press Gallery.