March 8, 2012 As an online publication, we have a unique chance to edit long after the publication is published. Print news media and broadcast media do not have this option. As we are a strictly online publication we have the ability to hit publish and still go into our posts after to revise. We can edit, rearrange, delete and add. The question comes up, should we?
With never ending edits the fact that a story is never finished can become a mantra. Edit upon edit, add-on upon add-on, follow-up upon follow-up. It can become a nightmare of never ending focus on one article, one idea. However, that’s not the most significant aspect of multiple people editing the articles. We often, without realizing it can introduce error either in spelling, grammar, punctuation or style. Errors happen, but they shouldn’t happen when you are trying to fix an already present error.
Another issue with editing after publication is we wondered if it was honest. No other medium has the ability. Is it trustworthy to continuously edit an article long after publication and not repost it? One person reads it and then we edit it. They don’t know it’s been edited or updated or fixed and someone else then reads it and gets something completely different from it due to our edits. We are no longer a single finished piece that people can draw from. Additionally how many people are going to re-read an article just to make sure they haven’t missed any recent edits?
Edits after the publication do allow for corrections, which lends itself towards the idea of honesty that we strive for. It keeps us trustworthy in the aspect that those reading it do not question our ability to convey ideas clearly, concisely and in appropriate style. They do not question our skills of writing or ability to seek the truth.
What we publish isn’t set in stone. This gives us the ability to spend more time understanding, relaying and updating ideas so that the best knowledge is then shown at any given time.