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rookie mistakes

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by In Cold Blood, Jun 10, 2007.

  1. In Cold Blood

    In Cold Blood Member

    I'm a youngster fresh out of college.

    The other night, I spelled someone's name wrong in a headline (despite getting it right in the story) and have been beating myself up for it. Today, one of the guys at work reminded me that everybody makes mistakes...

    It was an honest mistake and I'm sure I have bigger brain farts in my future, but it made me curious...

    What's your biggest rookie (or veteran) mistake? What's the biggest f up you've ever seen from a staff member at your place, or in papers in general?
  2. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    Ones that I've seen:
    On a jumphead that was supposed to read "No. 1 ranking suits (name of team)." an h went in place of u in suits.
    I've heard of one paper writing about "the election count" and leaving the o out of count.

    I once got a coach's name wrong in a pullquote attribution, as well as many, many other mistakes.
  3. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    Stuff like that comes and goes, but it's missing the basics of the process that poses a problem. I never forget people, even youngsters, who show up without pen and notebook.
  4. John

    John Well-Known Member

    Don't beat yourself up too much because mistakes do happen -- to all of us. As others will surely note, all you can do is learn from them.

    That said, how many other people proofed the page and missed it? They should be feeling bad, too. I know I do when I miss something while proofing, even if it's caught be someone else before the page is sent.
  5. OrangeGrad

    OrangeGrad Member

    Once wrote a Sunday cover headline saying Tommy Rackethead won his semifinal Wimbledon match. Too bad the match was suspended before it was finished. Tommy lost the match two days later. Another time spelled the executive editor's name wrong under a mugshot. Luckily I caught that one and had to stop the presses.
  6. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    Not killing a guy I worked for this one time.

    I'd be out by now and he'd still be dead.

    I use purple in this instance because I'm joking. Mostly.
  7. In Cold Blood

    In Cold Blood Member

    We're a super small shop, with one incredibly careful copy editor, but on the two nights a week she's off, pages get proofed by whoever is in the office that night.. so its my job to get things right on the first time through, because it's only going to be me and whoever is doing front page looking over stuff.
  8. John

    John Well-Known Member

    I've been there. A lot of us here have. It's good that the mistake bothers you. Means you care. Nothing wrong with that.
  9. da man

    da man Well-Known Member

    I once wrote an advance for a game involving West Virginia, except I called it Virginia Tech in every reference for the entire story.
  10. jfs1000

    jfs1000 Member

    Wrong headline? That's it. Get ready for mroe my friend.

    I once had the folio saying June when it was May. I have alos ruined production by forgetting to send a color phot's back out.

    Mistakes happen. It sucks, but as long as you have controls in place, you'll be fine. Misspelling a healdine isn't a rookie mistkae. It's just carelessness and rushing. Just relax and take your time (going to take my own advice too).
  11. In Cold Blood

    In Cold Blood Member

    You're absolutely right... it was me rushing and not being as attentative as I could be.
    I think I called it a rookie mistake, because, since I'm new, I haven't quite adapted to the full-time workload yet, so I always feel rushed.
    I'm trying to remember to take a breath every now and then and look over things one more time.
  12. I knew a sports editor who wrote a full page feature on a coach who won his school-record 300-sumthing football game only to find out a week later that there had been a mistake in adding the coach's totals for his career.

    As it was, the coach needed about six more wins to break the record. The paper ran a retraction explaining its mistake and embarrassing the poor bastard to death. I felt horrible for him.

    That same sports editor is now an agate clerk. True story.
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