Mar 192012
Authors: The Rocky Mountain Collegian Editorial Board

_Correction: In a previous version, the Collegian incorrectly stated that “This American Life” is produced by National Public Radio. It is actually produced and provided by Public Radio International. The Collegian regrets its error. _

On Sunday, fans of the Public Radio International program “This American Life” tuned in to a very different show than usual. The episode was a retraction for a popular story TAL ran a few months ago from writer-performer Mike Daisey.

In the episode titled “Mr. Daisey Goes To The Apple Factory,” the writer-performer tells the gruesome tale of what happens at the iPad factories in China. Unfortunately, almost all of the important parts of the story were false.

From the start of this retraction episode, TAL host Ira Glass admits the mistakes that were made when fact checking the story. He is transparent about what happened, and he is pissed off.

Glass and the producers of TAL handled this terrible situation admirably and honestly. It shows that the PRI program holds itself to the standards of journalistic integrity. While it’s true that TAL’s fact-checking process was flawed, and that it was a misstep to take Daisey’s words as fact, they were open with listeners about what happened and did their best to make amends.

Any news organization –– whether it be TAL, or the New York Times or the Collegian –– that presents facts to readers must always hold truth as its highest standard, and should mistakes be made, that news organization must do everything in its power to regain its credibility.

At one point in the retraction episode, Glass interviews Daisey. Well, if we were in Daisey’s shoes, we would be wetting our pants. Glass is a badass, and clearly, after hearing his demeanor in this episode, anyone should think twice about lying on TAL.

 Posted by at 2:40 pm

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