When Retractions go Viral →

While not as often as we’d like, news organizations often issue general factual corrections — and occasional outright retractions — to the stories they produce.

The problem, few actually see them and the original error is passed about the online wilds.

Not so with Mike Daisey’s This American Life investigation of electronics manufacturing giant Foxconn. Nieman Lab reports that the TAL episode dedicated to retracting the story is its most popular yet with with over 891,000 downloads and streams of the podcast since the story first aired.

The original Foxconn podcast had 888,000 downloads and streams in a similar timeframe. Since that time and additional 206,000 have listened to it.

Goes to show that biggie errors deserve a biggie response. In this American American Life’s case they dedicated a whole show to their errors. Something to learn from as most outlets bury their mistakes where few actually find them.

Nieman Lab, This American Life’s retraction of the Mike Daisey story set an online listening record.

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