If you are a fan of page A2 in the paper and the corrections online, you will be interested to know how The Globe and Mail staff find out about errors, writes public editor Sylvia Stead.

By Sylvia Stead, public editor of The Globe and Mail

If you are a fan of page A2 in the paper and the corrections online, you will be interested to know how we find out about errors.

As part of my job, I sometimes do the research and generally write the corrections. A large number of corrections come from staff members who spot errors in their work or hear about an error from a source quoted. This is often when you see items correcting titles or the spelling of a name. Staff members do a good job of passing these on to their editors or to me to have the record corrected.

Then there are many who come from you and it is greatly appreciated. They come in online. If you click on the comments, you will see a box urging you to connect if you see a mistake or typographic error. The typos are fixed by editors and the error requests are sent to me. Some come in as letters to the editor, some directly to my publiceditor@globeandmail.cominbox.

A few recently caused a minor flood of e-mails.

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The first was a week ago Friday, when a very clever skybox in the paper (that’s the illustration above the Globe and Mail nameplate) showed math times tables to point to a story inside about the math discovery method. It cleverly included one error, but clearly it wasn’t obvious that the error was made deliberately. I received an early call from one former teacher who asked if The Globe was running a contest and if she would get a prize for catching the error in the times table. Many others though thought it was an error.

So we ran this:

Note to readers: Friday’s front page blackboard illustration titled Recalculation included a deliberate error in pointing to an article on discovery-based math. So repeat after us: 8 times 7 is 56 (not 46 as show). But you knew that.

The second was not deliberate, but was an error in fact and many of you caught it right away. 

To continue reading this column, please go theglobeandmail.com where it was originally published.

Tamara Baluja is an award-winning journalist with CBC Vancouver and the 2018 Michener-Deacon fellow for journalism education. She was the associate editor for J-Source from 2013-2014.