In recent weeks we have fallen short on a key promise to you our readers – reporting accurately and placing our stories in the proper context.
On Thursday last week, we retracted a story we had splashed in our Saturday edition of July 8, based on what President Museveni said at the vigil of the late John Ssebaana Kizito. In the retraction statement, we informed you that administrative action had been taken about the reporter and a re-examination of our internal processes undertaken.
Earlier, on June 22, we had published another story titled ‘MPs order refund of oil bonanza money’, in which there was a mix up of the sums that the named officials had to reimburse. The report by the Parliament’s Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises, which recommended the refund, contained a list of the concerned official, and the gross and net amounts that they should return.
Our story, however, erroneously carried the list that had been circulating before the release of the report, and showed that some of the officials would have to refund more money than had been recommended by the parliamentary committee.
These failings are as unacceptable as they are regrettable. As reflected in our mantra, ‘Truth Every Day’, we care deeply about the truth and accurate reporting, and we are keen to put the record straight when we fall short on this promise.
This is why we have set out to re-examine and further strengthen our internal systems to solidify them against similar pitfalls in the future so that we keep errors of this nature to the minimum level humanly possible.
The news industry is pretty fast-paced, and there is usually very limited time within which to judge stories, check their veracity and clean them up for publication. But this is a responsibility we cannot run away from; and we are proud that we have discharged it diligently over the years, which is why we are the most influential newspaper in the country. We will do everything professionally possible to defend this trust you have in us.
And, in line with our commitment to honesty, transparency and accountability towards you, our esteemed readers, we renew our pledge to remain open to correcting any mistake that may elude our human systems
In case we commit an error, we will always work backwards to establish where we went wrong, with the view of correcting the mistake and ensuring that it does not happen again. Part of our page two is set aside for correcting errors, whatever seemingly small, that we may carry in our paper.