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Eliminating corrections

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by toivo99, Oct 27, 2014.

  1. toivo99

    toivo99 Member

    For those who put out a section with no safety net, how do you reduce the number of mistakes made, especially on deadline?
  2. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Don't publish.
  3. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Oh, I never make any miskakes anyway.
  4. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    You don't.

    When the bosses complain, blame them for taking away your safety net.
  5. toivo99

    toivo99 Member

    A nice suggestion, but when it's my job on the line, it's still me that gets fired.
  6. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    They're the bosses. Since they make the big bucks, see what great ideas they have for eliminating mistakes, since they're the ones who eliminated your safety net.
  7. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    What do you mean by eliminating the safety net? No copy editors? No Proofreaders?

    I'm often the only one who reads my section, but I damn well read every word in it. If I miss deadline by 10 or 15 minutes to do it, so be it. I'd rather be a few minutes late than have to stop the press or explain to the boss what happened. If you've been having a lot of mistakes get through, you definitely need to slow down and look it over. After you've done that, look it over one more time.
    Mistakes also tend to breed mistakes. You get so caught up in catching the out of place comma in the eighth graf that you miss the 48-point fuck in the above-the-fold headline. Just take your time. Pay attention. These things can come in waves, so work your way out of the slump.
  8. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    We had a run of mistakes at an old shop across all sections and the bosses instituted an internal form that had to be filled out if a correction needed to be published. You would have to list the correction, how it happened, how you'd prevent it in the future, blah blah, signed by you and your editor. Sometimes all you could say was "I screwed up" and "Will try harder in the future not to screw up."

    I think the form was phased out after about a month.
  9. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I assume publishers don't care about mistakes anymore as they are eliminating the folks whose job it was to catch them. So don't fret and fix it on the web.
  10. Bronco77

    Bronco77 Active Member

    Start by focusing on display type -- headlines, then cutlines. The more obvious the error, the more likely someone is to raise a stink. Minor stuff like changing commas should be the lowest priority.

    It helps to remember what a cantankerous copy editor I supervised many years ago used to say. He handled a gargantuan workload but was known to bust a headline from time to time. He'd own up to these mistakes, but if the higher-ups starting making too much noise about them, he'd say, "The only people who never make mistakes are those who don't do anything."
  11. Kolchak

    Kolchak Member

    Our SE has been known to go into stories to proof them and ends up creating new mistakes. Sometimes this is done after the desk has already proofed and set the story.

    So who would the SE blame for any of those mistakes getting through? The copy desk, of course.
  12. BDC99

    BDC99 Well-Known Member

    Yeah, an old shop of mine had us send a note to the executive editor explaining how the error happened. Ummm, I'm human and I fucked up. What the hell is the point of that anyway?
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