Bikerumor.com has updated its editorial policy to include a charitable donation following any copyright-related errors published on its site.
"Recently, we ran a post with images and information that were either used without permission or did not have the source appropriately credited,” said Bikerumor founder Tyler Benedict.
“It was a mistake, it shouldn’t have happened and we’ve put new policies in place to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. It’s become crystal clear that we need to let everyone know how seriously we take these errors. It’s important that I do everything I can to ensure that we learn from them in order to avoid them in the future. As such, I’d like to first publicly apologise for the mistake: I’m sorry.”
Bikerumor uses a number of freelance contributors from various backgrounds, most with no prior journalism experience. Contributors are provided with a detailed writer’s guide that outlines industry best practices regarding information attribution. The Bikerumor contributor guide also details standards and expectations when outside sources are used and requires permission to be obtained before using third party images.
“I’m proud of the team I’ve assembled and proud of the collective hard work that’s made Bikerumor a success,” said Benedict. “Despite the dedication and professionalism of our team, mistakes happen. When they do, as editor-in-chief, I accept the blame. It’s my responsibility to make it right.”
He’s putting his money where his mouth is.
“This latest error has driven me to strengthen our standards, training practices and my editorial oversight,” he said.
“To prove I’m serious when I say we’ll be better because of it, I will personally write a $1,000 cheque to the cycling charity of the competing editor’s choice anytime this happens in the future. I’m starting today with a donation to People For Bikes on behalf of Patrick Brady at Red Kite Prayer since it was the inappropriate use of his material that spurred this action. Patrick also has my humble apology for the error that was made.
“I realise this is but one step in the right direction. It may not please everyone, but it’s the right thing to do. Errors such as this one have caused a loss of trust among our colleagues. That trust has to be earned again, but I’m confident our work will speak for itself going forward.”