Friday, December 28, 2007
Monday, December 24, 2007
New York Daily News:
A headline in Monday’s Daily News, “He regrets his role in ‘postal’ vid,” implied that Richard Marino, the subject of a YouTube video, was sorry for an incident in December at a Brooklyn post office. Marino, in fact, is not sorry. The News regrets the error.
Typo of the Year:
The Houston Chronicle, like just about every other North American media outlet, spent a lot of time reporting on Anna Nicole Smith this past year. In attempting to explain her, um, humble origins, the paper gave itself a measure of comeuppance. And that’s what makes it the typo of the year.
A photo caption in the paper read:
“When Redding, a longtime scout for Playboy, discovered Smith, the model could barely right a sentence…”
Who’s illiterate now?
Reuters, the reigning back-to-back champ in this category, didn’t win but did come in second place by calling the Muttahida Quami Movement the “Muttonhead Quail Movement.”
Daily Telegraph (UK):
APOLOGY: In Friday’s article on Liz Hurley’s wedding it was wrongly stated that the actress is holding a pheasant shoot on the Sunday after the ceremony. Game shooting is of course illegal on Sundays and the pheasant season ended on Feb 1. We apologise for the error and accept that if any shooting is to be done it will be by the paparazzi, who have no season and do not observe the Sabbath.
Portland Press Herald:
A story on Page B4 on Wednesday about foraging for edible mushrooms contained a photo of amanita muscaria, which is a poisonous and hallucinogenic mushroom. It was a copy editor’s error.
Best Meta Correction, The Guardian:
We misspelled the word misspelled twice, as mispelled, in the Corrections and clarifications column on September 26, page 30.
Most Puzzling Correction, The New Scientist:
Several readers complain that the dancing cow illustrating Feedback, 20 January, appears to have six teats. It was of course drawn as seen by an intoxicated fellow dancer.
Monterey County Herald:
Monterey X-rated movie director Inkyo Volt Hwang’s nickname was Wanker Wang. An article on page A1 Saturday misspelled the nickname.
You can see the full report here, which includes people's comments at the bottom that correct Regret the Error's writer for his mistakes!
Ike Turner, 1931-2007
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Monday, December 3, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
Friday, August 31, 2007
"I worked for Gallagher at both The Trib and the Star, and was often advised by him to focus on what I could change, which was what the staff of The Tribune did best. ...
"Trib staffers didn't just look out their windows, they examined their own operation as aggressively as any. This was the culture during and after Gallagher. When I was a part of it, the staff questioned its bosses as aggressively as it did bureaucrats and business leaders. So when Gallagher decided to leave, and a corporate VP dropped by to make it official (and to introduce the new editor, Scott Ware), the staff fired away. People wanted to know if this was the beginning of the end.
"The matter was also addresed frankly in that December 30, 1994, story, which I pulled out to review this week and found the following Gallagher quote regarding the circulation situation:
"We're fighting an uphill battle here, the trend away from evening newspapers. I quit blaming myself for it. I went through the Stuart Smalley 12 steps. I'm doing what I can, we're putting out a good newspaper, everybody knows it's a good newspaper [SNIP ...] Don't get worked up about these numbers. This is still a very profitable business."
"Gallagher's departure was not the beginning of The Trib's end. It has continued to publish for the past 12 1/2 years since he left. And although the staff size has been considerably diminished during that time, along with circulation, The Trib's product has continued to be recognized with national awards.
"Quality, however, doesn't always sell."
You can read the entire piece here.
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
"When my career as a stand-up comedian and sitcom staff writer started winding down, I took on a number of freelance comedy-writing jobs -- writing jokes for Jack-FM stations, for other comedians and for Cracked magazine. My Cracked editor went to work for the WWN and invited me to contribute stories. Before long, I had five or more stories in each issue. Fake news was my day job. Imagine my mother's pride: " 'France Makes Hanky Panky Mandatory' ... my son wrote that!" I was, at first, confused about whether I was supposed to write true offbeat news, general satire or complete fabrication. So I asked. The response was loud and clear: "complete fabrication." Yet each piece was written as if completely real. So when, for example, Bigfoot got married, launched his acting career and became involved with Kabbalah, each story got a dateline, quotes from "sources" and "experts" and followed a typical Associated Press structure. In fact, much of the original staff came from mainstream newspapers. The standard? It had to seem true. "Half the readers realize the stories are tongue-in-cheek; the other half believe they're all true," my editor explained. "You have to write the stories to satisfy both groups." ...While most of the supermarket tabloids constantly recycle one another's celebrity gossip and diet plans, the WWN went unashamedly for the bizarre, unbelievable and tasteless. For any creative writer, the gig was a gold mine. Inspiration was everywhere. One day I wondered just exactly how snug is a bug in a rug? Shortly thereafter, I sold "Researcher Determines Snugness of Bugs in Rugs" to the WWN. Photoshop was the graphic department's best friend. On their pages, Elvis lived, Bat Boy rode atop subway cars, and space aliens shook hands with world leaders. Explorers discovered Noah's ark, the Garden of Eden, Jesus' sandals and the world's fattest cat. They had just as much fun with the less spectacular news items. For one of mine, "African Tribe Worships Barbra Streisand's Nose," they created a gigantic stone statue of Streisand's head in profile to show off her famed schnoz and surrounded it with spear-toting natives in loincloths. ...One thing's certain -- waiting in line at the supermarket will be a lot less fun." You can read the full piece here.
Monday, August 6, 2007
New York Times, July 30
An article on Thursday about the arraignment of three men in the shooting of two New York police officers, one of whom died, misstated the schedule set by a judge for a trial in the case. The trial is expected to begin by February, not by "Feb. 30. "
The error occurred when an editor saw the symbol "- 30 -" typed at the bottom of the reporter's article and combined it with the last word, "February." It is actually a notation that journalists have used through the years to denote the end of an article.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Man Poses as CPR Dummy To Meet Women
Mother Nature Endorses Gore for President
Astronomer Rebuked For Endless Staring into Space
Man Marries Computer -- Becomes GigamistPit Bull Eats Mobile Home
200 ELVES LAID OFF! Santa moves operation to Honduras sweatshop
VENGEFUL FROGS EAT FRENCH CHEF'S LEGS
VENTRILOQUIST IS IN COMA -- BUT HIS DUMMY'S STILL TALKING!
GRAVY TRAIN DERAILS!
Chocaholic Mom Has Sugar-Coated Baby
MEEK SUE TO INHERIT THE EARTH!
Woman gives birth to baby rabbits
Hitler's Brain Found in Mayonnaise Jar
HITLER'S NOSE ALIVE IN A JAR -- AND IT'S GROWING A MUSTACHE!
Gay Dinosaurs: the real reason they went extinct
Doctors Reattach Siamese Twins
Man searches for his own severed head
CONCRETE ENEMAS A BAD IDEA, DOCS WARN
You can read the full blog item here. (George Bush photo by AP)
Monday, July 23, 2007
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
Smooth-running conventions don't just happen. Behind every successful
convention are the volunteers who handle all the essential details. Behind every
effective band of volunteers is an organizer with a vision, a checklist and the
right blend of charm and persistence to cajole the troops.
At NAHJ that was Rich Ramirez, a 44-year-old executive assistant, from
the San Jose Mercury News.
In the weeks leading up to the convention, Ramirez was peppering his
colleagues around the country with e-mail requests, big and small. He sent
spreadsheets with detailed marching orders for volunteers. He made last-minute
pitches for editors to shake down their publishers for $1,500-a-hole
sponsorships for the charity golf tournament. He even sent out an appeal for a
baby sitter on behalf of a CNN producer.
The convention was a huge success and no one seemed to be having a
better time than Rich when I caught up with him at an opening-night reception.
As always, he was quick with a smile and quick with questions about how things
were going with my life and job.
Four days after the convention, Rich Ramirez was found dead in the backyard of his Livermore home, with a knife wound in his midsection. Police still suspect it was a suicide, by about the most painful and difficult method imaginable.
Those who knew Rich Ramirez could not say which was more inconceivable:
That he would take his life or that someone would want to hurt a man who
radiated such brightness and generosity. One could only speculate: Was it the
angst and uncertainty that has gripped the profession he loved? Or was it a
deeply personal pain that no one who thought they knew him ever recognized?
On Thursday, Rich was eulogized at a memorial service in San Jose. The
church was overflowing with family, friends, colleagues.
... One question came up, over and over, as his friends and colleagues
marveled at the size of the crowd and depth of sentiment at the memorial
service: "I wonder if he knew how much he was appreciated?"
I know what you're thinking about the Rich Ramirezes who bind the communities in your lives. Don't wait, don't assume they know. Tell them.
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
You can read the entire transcript here.
10) "Covers all the news that happens within one block of the office."
9) "Today's exclusive: 'Nixon Dead!'"
8) "Reporter sent to jail for refusing to divulge a source...Oh, and he
also killed a dude."
7) "All horoscopes: 'Now would be a good time to get out of the
newspaper business.' "
6) "Paper's motto: 'Suck It'"
5) "Every 'hot gossip' item is about Jack Klugman."
4) "Managing editor and guy who wheels around breakfast? Same guy."
3) "Under 'weather,' it just reads 'yes.'"
2) "Instead of 'Garfield,' has a comic strip called 'Garfunkel.'"
... and the No. 1 sign that your newspaper is in trouble is: ...
1) "You endorsed Dennis Kucinich."
Monday, April 23, 2007
"Sometimes it can be hard to distance yourself enough from your paper and look at it objectively, which is why I found the 'Inside Readers' Minds' panel fairly enlightening. Five people who all take in news in different ways were kind enough to spare some of their time to be quizzed by journalists. (What a fun Saturday!)It's hard to make too many generalities about what readers like, as this was far from a scientific or significant sample size, but it was interesting to hear what they had to say nonetheless.
They like short, easily digestible pieces of information, a la the front page of The Wall Street Journal, bulleted lists, raised quotes, etc.
They said their eyes often fall on pictures first, and those can give clues about what the story's about, even when the headline is more abstract.
Design matters. Some said that how the paper looks affects if they'll pick it up.
Sometimes we try too hard to be "hip" and conversational, and they don't always appreciate that.
Information presented should be as clear and specific as possible, and clear labels spelling out what information is where on the page are appreciated.
Posted by katie schwing
Friday, April 20, 2007
Those of us not lucky enough to attend can follow along on the ACES conference blog, which 13 conference attendees are contributing to.
Here's a posting about one of the interesting sessions they had this week:
Who's afraid of the big bad Web?
The people packed into the "Leaving Print for Online" felt almost like traitors, seeing how the other half works. But the impression given by Jay Wang and Jim Kavanagh was more positive than you might think. Turns out, you have all the skills you need to edit for the Web right now:
Solid news judgment.
Snappy headline skills.
Passion for accuracy.
Ability to work quickly and efficiently.
No fancy HTML coding skills required. (Though, honestly, it probably wouldn't hurt.) It helps to be able to write different kinds of heds for the same story; for example, ones that read differently for the front page of a Web site vs. an inside page.
Most importantly, it seemed, was this message: Newspapers need to stop seeing the Web as a threat. It's a tool we can use for more content and a bigger audience than we've even imagined -- if we can get away from the way we're used to doing and thinking about things.
Posted by katie schwing
Thursday, April 5, 2007
Sunday, March 25, 2007
"I've always subscribed to the late Abe Rosenthal's standard for journalists: 'I don't care whether my colleagues sleep with elephants, so long as they don't cover the circus.' "
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Here's an excerpt from the article, by Mark A. Phillips, in which he explains why papers should do this:
Wire service copy has become a commodity that is sent around the globe via the Internet at blistering speed. Wire is accessible through Yahoo!, Google, or any number of Web sites. By the time your valued local newspaper reader gets a copy of your paper, the news could be a day old. Is this really serving your readers? Don't you want to give them something they truly cannot get anywhere else? ... Before you throw that rock at me, look at the monthly wire and photo costs in your budgets and compare those to what you spend on local news and sports employees. Does it shock you that those resources are going to services that many of your readers get for free on the Web? It should. Take the money you spend on wire and hire more news and sports reporters, more editors, more photographers. Instead of wire, wire, wire, I want you to hire, hire, hire. Bolster your local news and sports coverage and it will pay dividends.
The complete article can be found here.
What do you think of his idea?
Monday, February 12, 2007
SEO stands for "Search Engine Optimization." The article points out that when a newspaper's Web site simply picks up the headlines we've written in the print product, those words may not be the most easily searchable.
On Web sites, headlines need to be written differently, the article says, loaded with key words and phrases that can easily be found when Googled.
The full article is here. As Alicia says: "It’s a very interesting article and since we are likely to be doing more Web editing with the reorganization, it’s something we should be thinking about."
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2007 15:31:37 -0800
To: VCS Editorial Group
Subject: E-mail addresses
We're getting some very strange e-mail addresses in stories (i.e., jweigle//www.venturacountystar.com).
No matter what a source might say, that won't work. The form has to be, using the same sample as above, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here's the introduction to the Wikipedia article on the subject:
"An e-mail address identifies a location to which e-mail messages can be delivered. The word e-ddress is also used as the formal pre-registered authoritative electronic mailing delivery site for an individual (example: an attorney's e-mail address registered for delivery of proof of service digital copies of legal pleadings).
A modern Internet e-mail address (using SMTP or Usenet) is a string of the form email@example.com. It should be read as "jsmith at example dot com."
The part before the @ sign is the local-part of the address, often the username of the recipient, and the part after the @ sign is the domain-part, which may be a host name or domain name which can be looked up in the Domain Name System to find the mail transfer agent or Mail eXchangers (MXs) accepting e-mail for that address."
Copy editor and stamp columnist
Ventura County Star
Date: Mon, 22 Jan 2007 14:05:16 -0800
Cc: "Moore, John"
Subject: Ages in stories
Because there is still debate over ages in stories, please do not delete or put in notes mode any ages that come across in copy. A policy on this is still in the works.