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Is a correction needed?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Smallpotatoes, Apr 11, 2008.

  1. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    This afternoon I received an e-mail from somebody about a softball preview story that one of my stringers wrote.
    The piece ran in last week's paper (I wonder why it took the reader so long to contact me. Maybe it took her that long to calm down).
    It seems that a few players who are on the team were not named in the story. Maybe the stringer decided not to include them. Maybe the coach didn't give the stringer their names. I really don't know what happened. Either way, it seems like a judgement call, not a factual error.
    Though our previews typically include the names of every player on the roster, it's not a hard-and-fast rule with me that every name must be in the story.
    Is it worth questioning the stringer about this and should I run a correction on something that was a judgement call?
  2. No correction.

    Hopefully, he didn't leave out the best players.
  3. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    I side with the others. Definitely no correction. Don't do phonebook journalism just because.

    EDIT: Buck beat me to it.
  4. pallister

    pallister Guest

    If I ever have to cover a softball team again, I hope they have players named Betty Batter, Polly Pitcher and Suzy Stealer. They'll definitely make it into the paper.
  5. TwoGloves

    TwoGloves Well-Known Member

    Absolutely not. Politely explain that writers only have so much space in the paper, they have to write a story that will interst all readers --- not just the players' family members --- and just because a kid is the worst player on a team doesn't mean he or she is entitled to get mentioned in the paper and then do my favorite and ask if getting publicity is why Jr. is involved in athletics. If all that fails, tell them to fuck off.
  6. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member


    If you typically name every softball player in a preview story, the bigger issue is why are you forcing that down the throats of your readers?

    Run a damn roster with your previews and hit only the highlights. How you gonna say something nice about Bettye, the sophomore outfielder who can barely tie her shoes, let alone catch or hit a ball?

    As to your question, yes, you should talk to the stringer about it. If typically every name is included in the story, the stringer needs to know that beforehand. And if he did, you need to know why he chose not to include them or didn't get their names.

    If every other story listed all the players and the coach gave your stringer all the names, I might consider listing them in a clarification as a goodwill gesture to keep the parents off the coach's back.
  7. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    It's not a correction or a clarification that Ace seeks. It's a reckoning.

  8. trifectarich

    trifectarich Well-Known Member

    No correction.

    However, there could be several legit reasons why you're getting this call a week later. Maybe people are out of town on spring break, etc.

    I once got a call from an article that had been published about six months earlier. This guy was using the newspaper for packing something in a box; he noticed something on one of the pages and gave me a call.
  9. Bob Slydell

    Bob Slydell Active Member

    No correction needed unless names were misspelled.

    And why do you have every player's name in a preview?
  10. txscoop

    txscoop Member

    dont ever listen to parents
  11. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    No correction needed. No clarification needed, unless you want to make a goodwill gesture. However, that opens up a whole can of worms that's best avoided.

    If your shop has a policy about printing every player's name, that sounds like it's your shop's problem. BUT if your stringer knew the policy and didn't get every name and could have, it's the stringer's problem.
  12. Agree with the consensus here. Nobody "deserves" to have their name in the paper. We decide what is and is not newsworthy.
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