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Clips with typos?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Kritter47, Jun 18, 2007.

  1. Kritter47

    Kritter47 Member

    I recently wrote a story I am pretty proud of, and I want to include it in my clips file.

    Problem is there's a typo in the story. I'd referred to a team by it's nickname, and the desk changed it to the city name but left half of the city name out. Something like this:
    Original - "Rednecks second baseman Earl Screwball..." With the school being the East Valley Rednecks
    Ran - "East second baseman Earl Screwball..."

    It's pretty noticeable, since the school is called East Valley every other time.

    Now, it happens, so I'm not all that worked up about it. I've made much worse mistakes they've saved my butt on. But can I include this story in a clips file that I pull from to send off to other papers? I don't want to write an explanation for the typo on top because that's just making excuses, but I really do like the story and the typo is incidental and about 3/4 of the way down the story. Still, it makes me nervous to pull out for future use.

    What say you?
  2. John

    John Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't worry about it.

    I recently had a game story win a press association award and there was a typo -- were instead of we're -- in the first quote.

    Then again, I'm not a sports editor, so I could be wrong.
  3. I also won an award for a story that included a doozy of an error, although it was not a libelous one. I didn't even realize I had made the mistake until after I won the award and it was pointed out to me by a no-doubt jealous co-worker :)
    Anyway, I wouldn't worry too much about a small typo-type mistake. Then again, I'm not an editor either ;D
  4. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    I would delete the one that talks about "shits on goal..." fool me once...
  5. chazp

    chazp Active Member

    I think John is right. I had a typo in one story that once won an award. Having it in your clip file, could be another story. Just be prepared to blame the desk if it comes up in an interview.
  6. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    I'm learning:

  7. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    Yes, blame the desk. I'm sure the hiring editor will respect that.
  8. chazp

    chazp Active Member

    [blue]Yes, but they have to be outstanding typos to get noticed and grab the hardware.[/blue]
  9. Ira_Schoffel

    Ira_Schoffel Member

    In general, I would never send a clip that has a typo. Think of your clips as your chance to make a first impression. (Would you show up for a blind date with a wrinkled shirt or ketchup on your sleeve?)

    Chances are, those clips and your resume are going to determine whether you get an interview. Why would you risk blowing that opportunity for one story ... is it really that much better than anything else you've written?

    Now having said that, the example you've described doesn't exactly sound like an obvious typo ... it might be in your town. But the editor of another paper is just going to think that some people call that school "East" for short. So it might not be the end of the world, but if it really is obvious, I'd probably scrap it. (And then send it in for an award.)
  10. expendable

    expendable Well-Known Member

    Unless it was first reference, I wouldn't worry about it. If I were an out of the area editor reading that, I'd just go on the assumption that "East" was another locally accepted name -- even if it was called "East Valley" throughout the rest of the piece. I'd think twice about blaming the desk though.
  11. Kritter,

    I have to agree with those who said this particular example probably is harmless. That said, if you have a clip with a major, obvious typo, I would not send it unless it's far and away the best thing you've ever written.

    Back in college, we used to call typos "clip killers."
  12. KJIM

    KJIM Well-Known Member

    I don't know if I'd worry about the typo as much since that could have been someone else's fault, but be sure you use it's/its correctly in your cover letter. Errors there do make a big, big difference.
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