Creating Technology for Social Change

News Challenge winner “MediaBugs” unveils beta to track news errors

We’re stoked to hear our friend Scott Rosenberg and his colleagues have unveiled MediaBugs, a Knight News Challenge-funded project. The MediaBugs idea is simple: take the bug-tracking methodology used by software developers and apply it to reporting.

MediaBugs is one of those unique developments of the Internet age: in the past, you simply couldn’t update an article that was already out there in the world. The error was permanent, save for a tiny “we regret the error” update in the next day’s newspaper.

But it remains to be seen how long it takes traditional news culture to accept a bug-tracking framework. It not only requires institutional resources–someone to watch for new bugs and make updates–but psychological resources: will a reporter on deadline take the time to correct yesterday’s news?