Priority Shifts

Newspapers in Education programs are getting lost in the JOA shuffle.

The problems all concerned onetime hostage Terry Anderson, who last year was awarded $41 million in compensatory damages and $300 million in punitive damages for his sufferings in captivity. Shulgold noted this in a February 13 piece and Sprengelmeyer repeated it in an article on February 14 -- the same day Amole, in his column, wrote that Anderson had "collected" the $341 million. But none of that was quite right. In November, when Anderson filed a claim for 110 percent of the $41 million portion, he waived his rights to the remainder -- which made Sprengelmeyer's and Shulgold's accounts incomplete and Amole's blatantly wrong.

As part of my test, I called the News corrections number and, after identifying myself as "a reader," told the person at the other end of the line about the mistakes, even going so far as to point out that the correct information had been published by the Associated Press last November. In response, he told me I should leave messages for Shulgold and Amole on their voice mail (he didn't think I needed to do likewise for Sprengelmeyer, because he was in Washington, D.C., at the time). I did so moments later, and in a February 18 column by Shulgold and a February 20 article by Sprengelmeyer, the Anderson item was restated more accurately. But Amole has yet to revisit the topic, and the News hasn't published any correction.

Fred Harper

C'mon, guys, confession is good for the soul.

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