The Spokesman-Review’s Aug. 11 front-page headline blared incorrectly: “Most Washington students starting college don’t finish,” when, in fact, they do. A week later, Aug. 18, the S-R’s retraction of this false story was anemic and disappointing. It wasn’t until the third paragraph of backpedaling that the paper quietly admitted its error. Then they concluded by taking credit for initially reporting the raw data correctly (even though they completely misinterpreted it).
The S-R bungled the data badly, set off false alarms of indictment in the Spokane educational community, and completely misled your readers. This was an error of course, but conspicuous enough to be a breach of trust.
When you get the story wrong in a big loud way, you need to fix it better than you did.