When attrition begets contrition is it enough?

By

Gavin Gibbons

Published on
March 1, 2010

Attrition is defined as, “the wearing away of a surface, typically by friction or abrasion.” In the case of our on-challenge to Time magazine to print the true story on tuna, I have to wonder aloud if, in this case, simple attrition and not adherence to standards has forced a modicum of contrition.

You see, we emailed, we called and we blogged about Time.com’s bush-league mistakes in reporting about tuna and finally, begrudgingly, the reporter made 4 substantial corrections in a write-up that was originally less than 150 words.

Four corrections to a piece that could fit on an index card is a pretty poor showing for such a vaunted publication. So we’ve contacted Time.com again and insisted (again) that the publication simply remove the piece from their site and undertake a thorough review so readers will know why a 2008 article in the same publication reviewed the “Danger Of Not Eating Tuna” and then a 2010 article named it one of the “10 Most Dangerous Foods.”

Poor research, sloppy sourcing and contradictions are the hallmarks of this story. Rather than dribbling out piecemeal corrections you would think a publication dedicated to the highest of journalism standards would note its flawed foundation and pull it.

We will continue to ask Time.com to get it right or get rid of it—editing by erosion will not do.

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