Public Editor

Yes, The Star corrects wire story errors


An emailer asked a very valid and common question about a story from last Saturday:

What is The Star’s policy on editing news items picked up from another news service? I was intrigued by an item in the Sept 20 business section about Home Depot security published under a New York Times byline. The item notes that Home Depot has “2200 stores, three of which are in the Kansas City area.” It seems remarkable that the New York Times would note how many Home Depot stores are in the Kansas City area. So does The Star frequently insert such illuminating tidbits into other sources’ articles? And by the way, I count at least eight Home Depots in the immediate area.

Today, the print edition carried this correction: “A Sept. 20 story about Home Depot's data breach should have said the chain has 16 stores in the Kansas City area.”

Actually, my reader asked a good question: Does The Star often insert these local details? Yes, absolutely. That’s a concept known as “localizing” the news, and it’s done on an everyday basis.

So this mistake has its roots right here in Kansas City. The New York Times would most likely not have included that information, but may have noted how many New York stores there are in its own version.

But even if the mistake had come from the wires, it would still be subject to the same policy. I’ve written many such corrections over the years, and I also always notify the originator about the problem so that they can send out their own.