Anglican Journal regrets error

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The Anglican Journal regrets a significant error that appeared in the story, Diocese of Brandon denies breach of duty in sex assault lawsuit, published on the newspaper’s website Nov. 29, 2017.

A sentence in the original version of the story incorrectly stated that the diocese contends the plaintiff’s claims are “remote, excessive and unforeseeable”; “vague, exaggerated and overstated”; and “the results of other incidents and events in her life both here and after the alleged actions of [Nigel] Packwood.”

What it should have stated was that the diocese was contesting the plaintiff’s claims that she suffered injuries, loss or damage as a result of alleged breaches of duty by the diocese.

By failing to specify this, the original incorrect version gave some people the impression that the diocese was contesting the plaintiff’s allegations of sexual assault levelled against Packwood, a former Anglican priest in the diocese.

The Journal apologizes for this error. It has been recently brought to our attention that the error has had far-reaching implications both for the Diocese of Brandon and its Bishop, William G. Cliff, having led some to think erroneously that neither he nor the diocese is concerned about the sexual assault of women and its effect on them.

Journalistic ethics require that we publicize the correction and ensure that it reaches the same audience that read the original error. But we also want to underscore that we are publicizing our mistake not only because it is required of us, but because it is the right thing to do. As a newspaper, we are accountable to you, our readers, and we have the responsibility to be honest with you when we slip up.

While we do our best to check facts, to make sure names and titles are correct, quotes are accurate and numbers add up in our stories, this sobering incident has reminded us that we need to be more vigilant.

 

 

 

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Marites N. Sison
Marites (Tess) Sison was editor of the Anglican Journal from August 2014 to July 2018, and senior staff writer from December 2003 to July 2014. An award-winning journalist, she has more that three decades of professional journalism experience in Canada and overseas. She has contributed to The Toronto Star and CBC Radio, and worked as a stringer for The New York Times.

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