Regrettheeror.com has published its annual round up of the corrections that have cast little pinpoints of light into the darkness that is mainstream reporting. They’ve identified [Calling Bullshit (aka Fact Checking)]
http://www.regrettheerror.com/2009/12/16/crunks-2009-the-year-in-media-errors-and-corrections/ as the trend of the year with some interesting analysis and several choice examples. This is my absolute favourite:
During the editing of this Review of the Week by Richard Smith (BMJ 2008;337:a2719,doi:10.1136/bmj.a2719), the author’s term “pisshouse” was changed to “pub” in the sentence: “Then, in true British and male style, Hammond met Ian Hislop, editor of Private Eye, in the pub and did a deal.” However, a pisshouse is apparently a gentleman’s toilet, and (in the author’s social circle at least) the phrase “pisshouse deal” is well known. (It alludes to the tendency of men to make deals while standing side by side and urinating.) In the more genteel confines of the BMJ Editorial Office, however, this term was unknown and a mistake was made in translating it into more standard English. We apologise for any misunderstanding this may have caused.
Honourable runner-up, in the Best Science Reporting category, from The Daily Telegraph:
Owing to an editing error, our report “Women who dress provocatively more likely to be raped, claim scientists” (June 23) wrongly stated that research presented at the recent BPS conference by Sophia Shaw found that women who drink alcohol are more likely to be raped. In fact, the research found the opposite. We apologise for our error.