Editor’s notebook: A mea culpa for our mistakes

Reporting is based on a give and take between journalists and sources. At VTDigger.org, we work hard to report the news accurately. We also try to include original source material, including video clips, whenever possible so that readers can refer to the information we’ve used to build a story.

Though we make a concerted effort to get the story right, on occasion we make mistakes. This week we made several errors that warrant explanation.

On Thursday, we published a story about proposed legislation that would limit charges associated with the sale of propane gas. More than 100 consumers filed formal complaints with the Vermont Attorney General’s office about Pyrofax Energy’s minimum usage fees. The charges have drawn scrutiny from lawmakers, though the company voluntarily revoked the minimum usage charge in January. Other companies charge a variety of fees associated with the delivery of propane fuel that have also generated numerous complaints from the public. Our coverage of the issue included a photograph of a gas tank that bore the logo of Gillespie’s Fuel. The Vermont Fuel Dealer’s Association complained that the image implicitly tied Gillespie’s to the minimum usage fee, which it did not charge its customers. This was not our intent, and we removed the image.

In a story about the budget hearing held via Vermont Interactive Television on Monday night, we implied that the televised event was the only venue for the public to give testimony. There will be two additional hearings this week on the budget on Feb. 22 and Feb. 24 in the Statehouse. In addition, we said several members of the House Appropriations Committee were present for the VIT hearing at an unidentified location. In fact, the lawmakers were in Williston at the VIT headquarters.

Our job is to produce fair and accurate reporting. When we neglect to do so, we want to know about it.

Over the course of a year and a half, we have created a platform for explanatory stories about complex public policy. VTDigger.org is not a one-way street, however. We value the corrections, story tips and comments we receive from readers. Constructive criticism helps us improve the quality of our work and benefits the VTDigger.org news community as a whole.

Please contact me with questions, concerns and/or suggestions.

Anne Galloway
Editor, VTDigger.org
[email protected]

Anne Galloway

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