Mistakes are fixed in a timely manner.
Egregious mistakes — for example, reporting someone’s death when they are in fact still alive or a mistake that could have legal consequences (defamation) — demand immediate correction on the air and/or online (if the information was also posted on NPR.org).
NPR’s legal department should be consulted immediately about mistakes that might have legal consequences — and especially if a purported mistake is brought to our attention by a lawyer or the subject of our reporting and they are claiming or implying that NPR is liable for any damages. When in doubt, contact the legal team. (Look for LegalAlert in the NPR internal email address book.)
All corrections will be reported to the NPR Library and to the Managing Editor and Deputy Managing Editor of NPR.org so that transcripts can be amended and online reports corrected. All corrections are posted at NPR.org. As a rule, we don’t make “silent” corrections to our stories. We make corrections to help keep the public accurately informed, not to absolve ourselves of our mistakes.
October 18, 2011