Media error-reporting service expands across U.S.

Oct 29, 2010   //   by admin   //   Media blog  //  No Comments


By Chris Hogg

MediaBugs, a company that allows Internet users to report errors in stories they read in the media, has announced it’s expanding its service nationally to handle error reports about media coverage across the United States.

MediaBugs is a service for reporting specific, correctable errors and problems in media coverage, the company’s About Us page says. MediaBugs allows individuals to report errors in media and the company says it will provide a “neutral, civil, moderated discussion space” for mistakes or errors. MediaBugs will then take each error and attempt to alert the journalist or media outlet about the mistake, and involve them in the discussion.

MediaBugs was granted $335,000 in 2009 from the Knight News Challenge. The company initially created a public test site in San Francisco to allow  individuals to report errors. This week, the company said it is expanding nationally across the United States.

“Wherever you are in the U.S., and wherever in the country you find a media organization that you think has made a correctable error, MediaBugs is now available for you to use to try to get those errors corrected,” writes MediaBugs project director, Scott Rosenberg, on the company’s official blog. “You file an error report; we’ll make sure the media outlet knows about it, and try to get someone to respond.”

MediaBugs has implemented a few new features to go along with this announcement, including:

  • Users can browse bugs by region to see what is being reported, what media organizations are involved, and where they’re geographically located.
  • More data about bugs is being shared so users can browse bugs by media outlet to see a readout of how many bug reports have been filed for that particular outlet, along with info from MediaBugs about how the media outlet handles error-corrections.
  • A bookmarklet tool lets users install the reporting feature into their browser so they can submit bug reports right from the site they’re reading.

“We’re excited about this expansion,” writes Rosenberg. “We’ve found that a lot of the exchanges we’ve had introducing MediaBugs to people went something like this: The listener would say, ‘What a great idea! You know, just the other day I saw this really unfortunate error in the X News about Y’ — where both X and Y lie outside the Bay Area. And we’d have to say, ‘That’s really interesting, but unfortunately we are only covering the Bay Area right now.’ Everyone would look glum, and the conversation would move on. Now, instead, we can say: Go for it — file that bug.”


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