The baseball trade deadline always seems to bring out some rough sports journalism.
John Cheney used to say that on defense, as in life, you are going to make mistakes, and that the key is how you recover.
By that measure, Ken Rosenthal set a standard by which all journalists should be held.
To quickly recap: Rosenthal incorrectly reported that Puig stormed out of the Dodgers' clubhouse on the day of the trade deadline. In fact, Puig had been told to stay home and wasn't at the stadium. Along with correcting the story, he issued a series of Tweets explaining the first report:
To those upset with first version of Puig story: I’m with you. I take great pride in accuracy. It infuriates me that a key detail was wrong.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 2, 2016
The information came from sources, but that’s not an excuse. It’s my job to check everything thoroughly.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 2, 2016
The only solution in a situation like this is to apologize, correct the mistake and learn from it. And that’s what I’m doing.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 2, 2016
There's a to learn from Rosenthal's apology. It's an actual apology. He could have done what Chris Broussard and so many other reporters have done, and fallen back on the "my sources told me something, and I reported it" non-apology. He didn't. He said his story was wrong. He explained what happened (sources told him wrong information). He took responsibility for what he reported and for his mistake.
Most importantly, he corrected the story.
From Barry Petchesky:
Fans and readers should demand Rosenthal’s brand of pellucidity out of all reporters, because infallibility isn’t realistic: getting things occasionally wrong is the cost of doing business. The key is being confident enough to embrace your fuck-ups.
Look, mistakes are going to happen. Every reporter makes them. They get accelerated and accentuated these days because of social media. You're reporting live right now, so mistakes are more likely. The key is how you recover.
Rosenthal showed how a pro recovered.