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To err is…

From day one, The Ken’s value proposition has remained clear and unchanged: One story a day. Thorough, deeply-reported, insightful. We may tell fewer stories, but we strive to tell them better and more accurately than anyone else. The goal is perfection, and we must hold our hands up and admit that we’ve had our slip-ups. Errors have crept in, and some of you have even pointed them out. While we’ve gone back and fixed these mistakes, issued clarifications and castigated ourselves, we haven’t forgotten.

In fact, over the last two months, we’ve kept a detailed count of every error. Because while we don’t believe in dwelling in the past, we do believe in learning from it. Between 15 October and 15 December, we’ve made a total of 34 errors. Now, keep in mind, these aren’t errors that are major enough to detract from the point of the piece. In most cases, they’re minor details that were misreported and weren’t spotted by the desk, typos, errors in currency conversion, or even headlines tweaked for greater accuracy.

But no matter how small the error, we don’t take it lightly. In fact, for every error, we issue a clarification where we go on record and admit fault. That’s the part you see at the end of some of our stories. But internally, the buck doesn’t stop there. There’s always an inquisition of sorts. Not quite the Spanish Inquisition, but exhaustive nonetheless. Everyone involved comes together to go over our processes to understand exactly how these errors slipped through our system. Were they reporting errors? Fact-checking lapses? A lack of oversight? Gaps in the handover process? By identifying how these mistakes entered the system, we’ve been able to implement new ones to eliminate them.

From instituting a more rigorous fact-checking system to ensuring copies are closed and ready days in advance to ensure no hurried, last-minute additions and errors, we’re plugging the holes in our processes. We’re also ensuring an additional, fresh pair of eyes to go through each copy, over and above the editing we previously had in place. You deserve better, and we’re doing everything we can to make sure you get the best product possible.

The goal remains perfection, and through this process of auditing our slip-ups, we believe we’re moving closer to it. As with any change, this will require some fine-tuning, and we expect that we’ll have it all figured out by the start of 2019.

So, consider it a New Year’s resolution then. Here’s to an error-free 2019.

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