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Star Tribune amends Vikings stadium editorial

Following my Tuesday post about the Star Tribune editorialists misrepresenting the Convention Center sales tax at the heart of a Vikings stadium subsidy plan, the paper issued a “clarification” Friday:

“A Dec. 13 editorial on the Vikings stadium effort said that Legislature would have to extend the tax authorization that finances the Minneapolis Convention Center after the bonds are paid off in 2020. In fact, the Legislature would be free to change or kill the tax, but it would continue if lawmakers did nothing.”

I appreciate the Strib’s public statement; they could’ve safely ignored the complaint. But while this may seem uncharitable, I’d also note this is another example of a low-level plague that has long afflicted journalism: calling things clarifications when they are really corrections.

A clarification is when you were right on the facts but not precise enough. A correction is when your facts were wrong — in this case, saying an extension was required when it was not.

You can probably find a Braublog violation out there, so I say this only to stiffen the backbones of us all. By the way, there is still time for the Strib to clarify their stadium-land disclaimer.

Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Bill Kellett on 12/17/2011 - 10:04 am.

    Important points on clarifying or correcting the stadium tax issues in the legislature, I’m sure.
    I have a question on what stories journalists, such as yourself, choose to explore and report. What is going on with the SOPA law making it’s way thru congress that we only hear about it thru paid ads placed by interested parties? Wouldn’t this be of interest to internet journalists? Also the National Defense Authorization Act which I believe is ready, or nearly so, for President Obamas signature. That’s the law that strips American citizens of the right of habeas corpus and turns arresting of “terrorists” over to the military. Wouldn’t that normally be of interest to journalists as well as bloggers?
    Just askin….

  2. Submitted by David Brauer on 12/17/2011 - 12:09 pm.

    Bill –

    Fair question. I think of myself as a local journalist, trying to have great influence on matters closest to me.

    Even though there are many journalists writing about the stadium, I tried to pick an important facet no one was really writing about (or when they did, getting it wrong). Since Rybak’s property-tax argument is a linchpin for Minneapolitans, I felt it was important, and also something I know much better.

    As for SOPA, it is (perhaps inarguably) more important, but it’s also something many more people are covering, and I’m not sure what uniqueness I would bring to bear. I’ve thought about focusing on Klobuchar and Franken, but as a part-timer now, I have to pick my battles even more carefully than I used to.

    I greatly appreciate informed readers challenging my priorities, and will mull your point further. In any event, thanks.

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