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How can cutbacks not be mentioned in NYT analysis of Cronkite debacle?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Simon_Cowbell, Aug 2, 2009.

  1. Simon_Cowbell

    Simon_Cowbell Active Member


    "Even a newspaper like The Times, with layers of editing to ensure accuracy, can go off the rails when communication is poor, individuals do not bear down hard enough, and they make assumptions about what others have done. Five editors read the article at different times, but none subjected it to rigorous fact-checking, even after catching two other errors in it. And three editors combined to cause one of the errors themselves."

    Fine, but not mentioning that this is the sort of shit more likely to happen when you lop off half of a work force that, I imagine, wasn't just twiddling its thumbs all those years... is the height of being disingenuous.
  2. clutchcargo

    clutchcargo Active Member

    Hate to say this, but having a full staff and a bunch of different people layering the editing process might actually be detrimental to a story. The more you have checking, the less responsibility each one takes and the more each assumes "someone else" is catching all the factual errors.

    Reporters should be proofreading and factchecking their own stuff, then you get a line editor and then a copy editor to look at it. They should be extra careful knowing they are the only lines of defense in terms of accuracy. Any more layers than that, at least in the newspaper business, and the process gets watered down.
  3. Simon_Cowbell

    Simon_Cowbell Active Member

    Stanley apparently was writing too many pieces to give this one any thought.
  4. pressmurphy

    pressmurphy Member

    I think it's easier to make that case if seven different stories contained one glaring factual error apiece on a single day. Presumably they would have gone through multiple editing paths, which would raise the issue of possible systemic shortcomings.

    In this particular case, though, the root of the problem was that one "reporter" sucked massively for whatever reason. I'm not saying that the editing shouldn't have been better and that people up and down the line aren't accountable, but a single reporter precipitated this embarrassment.
  5. Simon_Cowbell

    Simon_Cowbell Active Member

    A single... something.... always precipitates an embarrassing mistake.
  6. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    As in other instances with corrections of this magnitude, I just don't get it.

    I don't see how said reporter could be "much admired by editors for the intellectual heft of her coverage of television" when she apparently doesn't make the effort it takes to get facts right -- the first and most important rule of journalism.

    Talent, or a willingness to be hard-hitting, means nothing without that. Doesn't it?

    This reporter had a history of frequent, embarrassing errors. How do such people even get to the NYT? Or get to stay there?
  7. JimmyHoward33

    JimmyHoward33 Well-Known Member

    She voted for Obama.

    More seriously I agree. With the number of jobs shrinking everyday and the number of good jobs even smaller, things like this just make you shake your head.
  8. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    Among her gaffes: Calling the title of the Ray Romano sitcom "All About Raymond"

    And this is a bleeping TV critic.

    According to CJR she has been responsible for nine corrections so far in 2009. And by another person's count she had 14 corrections in 2008, 12 in 2007, and 15 in 2006, 23 in 2005 and 26 in 2004.

    I give up. I can't defend it anymore. This industry deserves to fucking die.
  9. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    Stanley is extremely wired into the Times' hierarchy. Ergo, getting rid of her would reflect poorly on said hierarchy. Further ergo, she sticks around.
  10. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    Sounds to me like a tumor that, after years of the patient ignoring symptoms, has wrapped itself inside layers of brain tissue and can't be removed.
  11. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    The Times is at its absolute worst when it writes about its fuck-ups.
  12. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

    What's the backstory? More, please.
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