… but not for the erroneous murder accusation.
Pension Bureau official Kenji Yoshihara was stabbed to death on November 18. His wife, Yasuko, was also critically injured in the attack. The attack is believed to be related to the murders of another former Pension Bureau official, Takehiko Yamaguchi and his wife, Michiko.
A man using the nickname “Popons”, updated Yoshihara’s Wikipedia entry to show that he had been murdered. Because Wikipedia uses UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) to denote the time of edits on entries, a Mainichi.jp reporter mistakenly believed that the edit of the entry had been made before the actual time of the murder.
No fact checks were done, and an article accusing Popons of the murder went to print, it was even featured on one nationally televised morning news program.
When the truth was known, Mainichi.jp quickly deleted the article and online evidence, and went about business as usual. The ever vigilant blogging (or rather bulletin board commenting) community in Japan kept the matter open.
Popons went to his local police station to apologize for any inconvenience he’d caused (although he’d done nothing wrong), and explain the situation to the authorities.
Mainichi remained silent until today, issuing a very short (and very hard to find) correction which can be seen in Japanese here.
The correction, which should be an apology, fails to mention Popons or anyone who was personally injured by the mistake of the Mainichi.jp staff.
As to their mistake, all that is written is that (my translation) “We reported that there was there was an entry on the internet encyclopedia, Wikipedia which seemed to announce the incident beforehand, however the time of the edit was not before the incident, it was after.”
No admission of wrong doing, no mention of Popons, and no one taking responsibility for such a careless breech of journalistic standards.
Does Mainichi (one of the three largest news media outlets in Japan) even realize that it accused an innocent citizen of murder in their national paper, and on national television?
I think a stronger apology is needed, and specific mention of Popons who was a completely innocent victim of Mainichi’s gaffe.