^
Keep New Times Free
4
| Media |

Cronkite News Service Corrects Story on Sentencing Guidelines; Ex-Inmate Wasn't Good Example for Reform

 

The Cronkite News Service issued a lengthy correction to a students' article about Arizona sentencing guidelines, but the misinformation persists on the Internet.

The May 18 article, which was widely published throughout the state and elsewhere, told readers about the sad case of Candita Gottsponer, a Flagstaff woman with a record for pot possession who supposedly received 23 months in prison for her first DUI.

The anecdote sounded fishy to us, as we explained in our May 27 blog post, and we soon discovered that Gottsponer had a much more extensive criminal history. Though not a violent criminal, the convicted thief, meth user and absconder is certainly no poster child for sentencing reform.

The mistake was a shame for three reasons: It slipped past Cronkite News Service editor Steve Elliott, a veteran from the Associated Press; it found its way onto the Web sites of several newspapers and countless blogs; and it distracted from the undisputed theme of the article, which was that some reform is needed because too many non-violent offenders are in Arizona's costly prisons.

 

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

We wrote about this situation in part to point out that the ailing newspaper industry needs to be more vigilant when using free content disseminated from student publications. We're pretty sure the message has been received, judging by the way many newspapers -- like the Arizona Daily Sun and East Valley Tribune -- changed the article after receiving the Cronkite "corrective."

Still, it's disturbing to see not only how many newspapers ran the story as-is, despite the seemingly obvious bit of nonsense in the top part, but also how the erroneous section remains alive in cyberspace.

We've lost sleep in the past thinking about how any mistake we publish online might well last until the arrival of some sort of Digital Armageddon

 

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.