Report on wreck incorrect

Friday, February 16, 2018

The Times-Gazette erroneously reported in yesterday's edition that Nancy Barber, who was seriously injured when struck by a vehicle Wednesday afternoon in Shelbyville, had died from her injuries that day.

Mrs. Barber died Thursday at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, a hospital spokesperson said this morning. She was, however, a patient at the medical center at the time the story was published.

The incorrect information in the original story was based on multiple reports on social media -- in particular Facebook -- from persons claiming they'd been in contact with family members.

The T-G apologizes for the error and does not consider Facebook or other social media as a source.

Publisher William Mitchell said, "Part of our responsibilities as journalists is to verify details of each and every story that we present to our readers and the public. We failed to do that in this instance. I am extremely disappointed."

"Knowing that the Barber family is already going through much emotional turmoil, I am truly sorry if our mistake caused them any additional distress," Mitchell said.

Times-Gazette Editor Terence Corrigan said, "In our newsroom, as in all newsrooms, every story must go through at least two reads by different people who are expected to question all the facts presented. But, sometimes in the rush to meet deadlines, mistakes are made, which is certainly what happened in this case. We should have questioned the source of the false information that was presented, but we didn't, and for that I am extremely sorry."

"Our newsroom does not condone using Facebook or any other social media for verification of information," Mitchell added.

The story

Gale and Nancy Barber of Longview Road were injured while walking across South Main Street at the southeast corner of the Shelbyville square, when they were struck by a pickup driven by Ashley Whittaker, 35, of Flat Creek, officer Michael Taylor of the Shelbyville Police Department said. No charges were immediately filed but Taylor said the wreck is "still under investigation."