Thursday, December 14, 2006

Getting It Wrong, Again.

Folks, there is something seriously wrong with whoever is writing headlines online for The Associated Press. I hope someone gets a handle on whatever the problem is and fixes it.

Here's the headline on the political analysis piece today about the ramifications of Sen. Tim Johnson's health:
Senate back to 50-50 with Johnson out

then it became:
Minus Johnson, Senate would split 50-50

Even that second headline is jumping the gun--sure, it's likely the Republican governor would appoint a Republican to take Johnson's seat, if it becomes necessary, and thus tip the balance to a 50-50 split.

But it's by no means established fact, as even the corrected headline states.

We can cope with the misspellings and weird abbreviations in the tickers on CNN and MSNBC and choose to laugh at the biased language choices at Fox News. But the AP ought to be able to get its facts right. Too many organizations rely on it and little or nothing else for national and foreign coverage. It's too important to get so wrong so often.

We've complained a number of times about The AP here and here and here. There's a definite quality control problem that needs to be addressed, perhaps trading a little speed in for accuracy.

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