Kapital Kareckshins...Just The Facts Ma'am ~ Annapolis Capital Punishment

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Kapital Kareckshins...Just The Facts Ma'am

The recent merger of two area synagogues was covered in the local newspaper which has caused it to write an unusually lengthy correction column. The correction appears on page A8 of the Saturday, August 23 edition and cites that the name of the new synagogue was wrong, and one of the merged congregations was incorrect as well. The holy Torah was improperly described and a synagogue member named Ira was misidentified as a woman (I've always known this Ira to sport a beard). A quote by County Executive John Leopold was also misconstrued--or worse.

Look-evryboody makes misteaks, evun the righter of this blog from thyme to tyme, and so does evry noosepayper BUT, getting facts weong, basic facts, such as whether a person is a man or woman and the name of the institution about which one writes, are rather unpardonable in journalism. The basic tenet of journalism is to get facts straight and it is upon this which all respect for the medium is predicated. Everything is filtered, interpreted and affected by a variety of complex forces which constrain reporters and editors, and errors get by, but simple facts must be accurate and checked. Did it rain or was it sunny? Partly sunny? Partly cloudy? Showers or thunderstorms? How much rain fell? From what direction did the wind blow and at what speed? Who won? What was the final score? Were there three bullet holes or two? Did they come from a 9 mm or a 45? What was the name of the two synagogues that merged? Was the member a man or a woman?

Jack Webb, where are you when we need you??

Speaking of such, did you read the leading front page piece about the local high school's International Baccalaureate (IB) programs? Good news indeed, but the article by reporter Elizabeth Hulette was lifted out of a press release and even then, was difficult to decipher. Talk about typos--try this sentence:

Students in need to pass six of the subject exams to be awarded the IB diploma, which they earn in addition to their high school diplomas.

Was there an extra "in" in there? (Sorry, there is no room at the "in"...)

In one sentence, she wrote how IB students have to perform 150 hours of community service. Two sentences later, she said the same thing. Like this. Two sentences later, she said the same thing.

Hey editors, freshen up that pot of coffee!

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Regular Schmoe said...

should you knot have written:

Like this:

Anonymous said...

Coffee has been cut out of the budget.

Paul Foer said...

(This came to CP from a writer at the local newspaper whose anonymity, in this case, I shall protect, but at least he has identified himself to me..and besides, this writer saw I spelled the writer's name incorrectly and I am taking it on the chin..ouch!)

...like when a reporter's name is spelled Elisabeth and someone spells it Elizabeth in a blog entry.

OK, to be fair, that's a minor error and Elisabeth is an uncommon spelling. Still, I couldn't resist. What's that saying? Bloggers in glass houses...

That was a doozy (doozie? see, I can't spell either) of a correction on the synagogue, though. If anyone doubts journalists make their share of mistakes, plenty of evidence exists online. The site regrettheerror.com is amusing, as is this guy's painfully funny recurring feature, Misidentified Black Person: http://undercoverblackman.blogspot.com/search/label/MBP

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