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By: Dave Astor

Columns and comics figured prominently in Sunday pieces by a public editor, an editor, and a reader representative at three different newspapers.

New York Times Public Editor Daniel Okrent, while noting the different standards of accuracy in news pages vs. opinion pages, wrote that there’s a new corrections rule for the latter. Times op-ed columnists making an error are to place the correction at the bottom of a subsequent column, according to Editorial Page Editor Gail Collins. Since these columnists are syndicated (by the New York Times News Service), this placement increases the chance that all readers will see the correction.

Jeannine Guttman, editor and vice president of the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, wrote about how her newspaper prohibits (with some rare exceptions) the use of anonymous sources. She noted that the paper last week decided not to run a Cal Thomas column from Tribune Media Services “because it contained several paragraphs attributed to an anonymous source.” A substitute column — by Ellen Goodman of the Washington Post Writers Group — included a shorter anonymous quote that the paper deleted while still running the piece.

And Karen Hunter, reader representative of The Courant in Hartford, Conn., wrote that the paper pulled “Apartment 3-G” after more than four decades. The King Features Syndicate comic had been appearing in the classified section for the past four years. That section also recently dropped “Heathcliff” (Creators Syndicate) and “Marmaduke” (United Media).

The Hunter, Guttman, and Okrent pieces were linked to in the Romenesko area of Poynter.org.

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