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Mistakes

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Mr. X, Jun 15, 2006.

  1. Mr. X

    Mr. X Member

    We all make them, but this correction in our paper pointed out an especially awful one:

    In [headline on story] the subhead should have read “cost” instead of “costed” (which is a word the [name of newspaper] made up but it not found in the dictionary.

    How anyone could have written "costed" in a subhead is beyond me.  This was for a news story in a weekly newspaper, not a night sports story in a daily newspaper, so deadline pressure could not have been the reason.  (I haven't asked and won't ask how this happened.)

    A good argument could have been made not to run a correction on this, because it did not involve a name or factual issue.

    If anyone else has seen some especially awful errors in print lately, please feel free to share them here.
     
  2. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't have run a correction on it, though I bet it costed the paper some credibility.
     
  3. DyePack

    DyePack New Member

    These days I hesitate to point out mistakes here because the reaction is often: "We work hard! How dare you point out any mistakes!" Or there's a lot of backtracking and excuses. (See: Harrison, Rodney released before June 1.) I tend to think few other industries are so loathe to address quality issues. (No need to point out lots of ad hominems and non-sequiturs to try to "prove" me wrong, BTW.)

    That being said, I'll throw one out anyway. A major daily had a picture of one of the pitchers eligible for the major league draft. The article referred to him as a lefty. The photo showed him throwing as a lefty. Yet the cutline referred to him as a righty.

    This is more than just the usual "photog-can't-write-a-cutline" stupidity. All of the correct information was there. No one caught it.

    Sadly, this is becoming more of a trend.
     
  4. reformedhack

    reformedhack Active Member

    You're right -- more and more sloppy mistakes are cropping up in print these days. Now, I know newspapers have always made mistakes, being a human-produced endeavor and all, but the rate of stupid stuff making it into print has increased dramatically over the past six or seven years or so. And here's why:

    The introduction of pagination, combined with staff reductions. In other words, not enough people having to do too many things on deadline.

    Just a thought. Agree? Disagree?
     
  5. LemMan

    LemMan Member

    I agree...but I make my share of mistakes too, so I'm not about to blame this solely on the paginators...and I'm not saying you are, either.
     
  6. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Pagination means we can get rid of all those composing room people and save all those FTEs

    Never mind that it adds work on the production end and costs more time.
     
  7. audreyld

    audreyld Guest

    I do believe there has been a steady decline in love for the craft of writing and the process of editing writing.

    Not trying to spawn a copy editors vs. designers debate, just saying that the process of editing copy has a place, and we're losing respect for it, and a desire to do it.
     
  8. Mutah

    Mutah Member

    Yep. Mistakes hurt. My rag ran a page 2 headline that said something was "inproperly" conducted. Uh... gggguuuhhh!

    And there's also a website now devoted to them: http://www.regrettheerror.com/
     
  9. DyePack

    DyePack New Member

    Regrettheerror merely lists corrections. Rarely does it go into detail about why the mistake occurred.
     
  10. sportschick

    sportschick Active Member

    I think most of the problem with the copy editing vs. design thing is that we're expected to do both. I know that I get pages to proof late at the same time I'm trying to finish off scoreboard and baseball. I don't have time to do a good job of proofing the front and other pages and finish up my own pages.

    I'd catch more mistakes on proofs, and I'd be a better copy editor if I wasn't also trying to design pages during the same shifts.
     
  11. DyePack

    DyePack New Member

    The people who fall into those last two categories have a place, and that place should not be on the copy desks of newspapers.
     
  12. Stupid

    Stupid Member

    Because of low pay, the industry no longer attracts the best and brightest, especially at the level of the weeklies.
     
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