Monday, November 07, 2011

The St. Petersburg Times and Charlie Crist's share of public campaign dollars (Updated)

I don't have the St. Petersburg Times to kick around any longer.

The newspaper has changed its name to the Tampa Bay Times to (allegedly) more accurately reflect its distribution pattern.  Dollars to donuts the name change is at least partially designed to increase the paper's appeal to those in the areas surrounding St. Petersburg.

Regardless, I'm holding the Times responsible for what the Times did in the past, namely ballooning in its reporting the amount of money former Florida governor Charlie Crist received through public campaign financing.

As reported in earlier blog posts, I notified the Times of its error back in June 2010, shortly after the flawed stories were published.  I eventually went all the way up the chain of command, to the point of sending an email to the Times' president.

None of that had any effect, apart from the author of the news report (Steve Bousquet) apparently agreeing that the report on Crist's share of the campaign funds was incorrect.

Still eager for a greater sense of how the Times feels about the charge of inaccuracy, this month I started phoning the paper's city desk.  Editor Jim Booth also appears to agree that the paper's reporting was in error, and he told the he has forwarded the problem to those who are supposed to deal with it.

Booth sounds unhappy about the mistake, for what it's worth.  And he was unerringly cordial on the phone.

So now the waiting game is on again.

We'll see what happens.



Yesterday the Times mostly fixed both errors.  Complaining by phone must be magical or something.

I can quibble with the correction notice:
Correction: During his 2006 run for governor, Charlie Crist received $3.3 million in public financing. A previous version of this story included a different figure.

[Last modified: Nov 07, 2011 01:52 PM]
It's not like the previous version said "$3.5 million."  I'd prefer greater transparency.

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