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Intro to MediaBugs

What is MediaBugs? 

MediaBugs is a service for reporting specific, correctable errors and problems in media coverage.   

See something wrong with a news item in print, broadcast or online? You report the problem. We'll provide a neutral, civil, moderated discussion space. We'll try to alert the journalists or news organization involved about your report and bring them into a conversation. 

As a result of this dialogue between journalists and the public, some errors may get corrected; others won't. Either way, the discussion will leave a useful public record.

Our goals (what we do)

  • Give the public tools to report errors and problems they find in media coverage (print, broadcast, web).
  • Help get those errors corrected and problems resolved by facilitating civil, productive discussion of them between journalists and the public.  
  • Help journalists by organizing and filtering the reporting of errors.  
  • Track data on errors and corrections for public use.  
  • Improve communication between the media and the public, making the press more accountable and giving the public more confidence in the news.  

Our non-goals (what we don't do)

  • We're not an online fact-checking service.  
  • We're not a place for general debates about media bias, politics or ideology. We're for reporting specific issues with specific pieces of news coverage.

Additional facts

We're about taking action to improve the quality of news. We know there's no clear bright line between "fact" and "opinion," but we encourage you to use MediaBugs to improve the accuracy, clarity and fairness of media coverage rather than to rehash general debates about media bias or recycle broad critiques of media missteps.   

We'll try to bring knowledgeable parties into the discussion but we're not able to re-report stories ourselves. 

We draw inspiration from the public bug trackers that open source projects use to fix bugs in their software.   

We're funded with a grant from the Knight News Challenge, a great program for innovations in journalism (apply with your idea!).  

All our software will be released under open source license.