Showing posts with label errors. Show all posts
Showing posts with label errors. Show all posts

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Leading the Race to the Bottom

Ha, ha. Usually "worst error ever" is a competition, but it appears The Cranky Copy Editor is winning for now with this citation. I don't know the source.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

But Does Anyone Care, Other Than Us?

AJR examines the quality question. In one section of the story, author Carl Sessions Stepp notes that one paper reports a decline in errors after instituting a checklist of sorts. That could be a factor. But I wonder, too, if it's really about readers simply not caring anymore. If we don't, why should they?

When I first went to work at one paper, I was shocked at how readers who called to complain about something seemed to act as if they owned the paper. It was their paper; they were mad at some error or perceived bias. By the time I left, the clerks were noting fewer, less passionate calls. They seemed to have given up.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Pointing Fingers

I have to say that if one third of errors in this paper were committed by editors, something's wrong. I can't dispute this editor's figures; she seems to have researched them pretty thoroughly. But am surprised to see that she thinks her paper's reporters 'fess up quickly.

It has been my experience, at at least two newspapers, that assigning desk editors tend to point the finger at the copy desk all day until those editors come in, do the research and establish that the originating editors or reporters were responsible. It's not clear to me if she's distinguishing between copy and other editors.

I do think that a policy ought to be consistent--either you blame the individual, always, by title, or you never blame anyone. That may seem unfair in any given instance but it does reduce the finger pointing and fights over who did what.

Speaking of errors:

Some Mistakes Are More Entertaining Than Others.
Yes, they are.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Copy Editing Gene/Updated

Recovering editor Bob Keane flags this great Gene Weingarten column. Copy editors everywhere salute you, Gene!

UPDATED Here's one, different, take on the value of copy editing.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

'Fess Up

Rex Smith, a former colleague at Newsday and now editor of the Albany Times Union, takes on improper plurals, corrections and the need to acknowledge errors.

I must tell you right up front that it's perfectly clear to me -- and by now to every copy editor on our staff -- that you do not create a plural in the English language by adding an apostrophe. The six-column headline on Page D3 Friday -- "Candidate's paper over early sign flap" -- was a mistake.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Another Bright Idea

Great. Yes, let's use TV as a primer for newspapers. Brilliant. Just brilliant. Every time I read one of these bright bulbs' plans to streamline--meaning cutting costs--I'm tempted to start compiling a list of errors my colleagues or I have just caught. The basic stuff, not even the ones of tone, freshness, awareness of previous stories, etc. What if we were to compile a list somewhere, with origins of the error disguised?

Who needs sub editors? Not me, says David Montgomery
1 November 2007
By
Dominic Ponsford
Chief executive of European newspaper giant Mecom David Montgomery has said that he sees far less need for the “twilight world” of sub-editing in today’s newspapers.
Speaking at the German embassy last night, the former Mirror Group chief executive spoke of the exciting long-term future print journalists can look forward to.
He said: “Never before has a journalist been able to reach out to their audience without intervention.
“Reporters out in the field can call up a page on their laptop and put copy straight onto the page without intervention.”
He added: “It means journalists can be freed from humdrum roles and the sub-editing culture can break down.”
Speaking of his experience as head of Mecom – which runs 200 papers across five countries in Europe with a combined turnover of £1.2bn – he said that “resistance is breaking down” to this "new way of working.”
Montgomery met with a sceptical response from journalists in an audience which mainly comprised of past and present members of the George Weidenfeld Anglo-German journalist exchange programme.
But Montgomery used the example of TV journalists – who are not sub-edited for live reports.
He said: “I see a situation where experienced journalists that can be trusted have no barrier to communication with their audience.
“Sub-editing is a twilight world, checking things you don’t really need to check…Senior people will always monitor the content, a core group will create the product.”
But he added that individual journalists need to have “more discretion over what can be published”.
He said: “I come from a world where editor-in-chiefs are control freaks who want to control every word. We’ve got to let that go.”

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Mistakes? We've Made a Lot

Slate's Jack Shafer points to a study that says newspapers publish too many mistakes but not enough corrections.

Lijit Ad Tag