Saturday, April 17, 2010

The One and The Only ...

Week after week, Charlotte Sun demonstrates its institutional scorn for good old fashioned copy editing. Obviously silly and erroneous stories fill space with nary a blush from the real people who go to work every day and style themselves as old fashioned newsers or reporters working a beat. Accuracy? How quaint!

Stories run with obvious errors, hot off the wire. Although the AP regularly runs corrections to its stories, nary a one ever appears in the Sun. From paginator to publisher, pre-written headlines are considered good to go: no time wasted reading the story and doing better; no effort wasted sorting Charlotte, N.C., from Port Charlotte. If it starts with Ch- and end with -otte, run it. But I digress.

Today's posts are a collection of copy-editing-free snippetsthat don't really need the attention of highly skilled and perceptive copy editors. Just about anyone who can read could have done the job.

The editorial's position statement is mssing a "not," giving every Sun reader a really good feeling about accuracy, attention to detail, and carefully crafted columns by skilled writers.

Just inches away, a correction on the letters page omits any reference to date, writer, headline, or an issue that might actually set the record straight. And what's with the "transcription error" excuse? If someone on staff is typing "Englewood" instead of "Manasota," then the problem goes a little deeper than just firing all those copy editors.

And finally, a local front correction elevates Joe Kernan to Indiana's one and only former governor. Journalism students who missed it in high school usually learn by the time they finish their second or third story for the Campus Bugle that there's a difference between "the" and "a."

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