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Combined editing center's head bust

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by lone star scribe, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. In a 1A story in the Durham (NC) Herald-Sun about a new PhD program at N.C. Central, some editor in Kentucky "improved" the story by moving the program to N.C. State.

    The Durham newspaper is edited by Paxton's combined editing center in Owensboro, Ky.

    It's just the latest example of how editors working 600 miles away with no context for the local newspaper can screw up.

    Here's the link:

  2. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    Having never really in such a setting, I do have a question for someone who does or has ... don't you get page proofs at some point? I get PDFs every night of every page when I'm not in my office.
  3. I'm not sure how Paxton is doing it (other than probably not very well), but the general aim of these centers was to eliminate nighttime staff at the "home" newspaper. Otherwise there's that dreaded duplication. I'm guessing they don't want to pay an editor to wait around all night for page proofs at deadline.
  4. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    I think it's a hell of an assumption on the blogger's part that the Kentucky desk changed something provided accurately to them.

    It might be a little better than 50/50 that the origination guys sent the right school, but shit happens.
  5. SportsGuyBCK

    SportsGuyBCK Active Member

    Still, someone obviously didn't read the story, because it clearly says "N.C. Central" ... but its sounding like the Paxton operation is following in the mold of Media General's N.C. community setup, where there's less and less time spent on copy editing and more time spent on pagination ... either way, it's gonna get someone sued for libel and slander when something really really bad gets in a story, doesn't get caught during the limited editing process and makes it into print ... would love to see the excuses handed out then ...
  6. KJIM

    KJIM Well-Known Member

    "How could this happen when there are only two universities and one community college in the city of Durham, NC?"

    ONLY two universities and one community college? How many do most cities have?

    Also, the header in question is so tiny I didn't even notice it at first. That doesn't excuse the error, but I wonder how many readers caught the mistake at *first* glance. I was looking for it and didn't see it.
  7. I think the blogger's point was that N.C. State is in Raleigh, not Durham, and an NC editor would know that. Kentucky, not so much.
  8. franticscribe

    franticscribe Well-Known Member

    I saw this in print the other day. The messed up header wasn't huge, but it was certainly noticeable. I didn't even have to read the story to know what the mistake was, since it made no sense at all that State would be adding its first PhD program, but made 100% sense that Central would.

    My first thought was that it was an awfully embarrassing mistake for the H-S. I hadn't even considered that it was the result of someone in another state making it.
  9. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Is every bad headline from now on going to be attributed to consolidation and the new way of doing things? Because this error would not rank in the top 1 million of headline-related errors in the history of newspapers. When I was in college in the early '90s, we got a good chuckle out of a USA Today graphic that tried to show Wisconsin was at the top of the list for something or other but instead highlighted Minnesota. I guess it's because USA Today didn't have a local editing desk in Wisconsin or Minnesota.
  10. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    Long Time, the powers that be don't care. They really don't. So many errors are making their way in print and on the Web. This is what the business has become and unfortunately things are getting worse. It is what it is.
  11. ondeadline

    ondeadline Well-Known Member

    How about this weekend head bust from McClatchy's consolidated desk in Charlotte that appeared in the N&O:


    Or this piece of fine editing in the N&O over the weekend. Second graf is brutal and never mind that the final score isn't mentioned:

  12. beanpole

    beanpole Member

    For how many decades did newspapers get 'gotcha' phone calls and letters from readers about mistakes? And how many of us threw them away and said, "My God -- you publish a million words a day, you're going to have a few wrong." Happened all the time in my newsroom.

    We're doing the same thing here. I understand people are pissed about editing centers and the state of the business. But let's not pretend that papers were spotless before desks started consolidating.

    Good editors can edit remotely, and do it well. And crappy editors can screw up a page regardless of where they're sitting.
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