Fixing Our Mistakes Before They Happen
"Giving a higher priority to tracking errors, finding out how they occurred and taking
steps to reduce and eliminate them begin with the top editor" (9).
I felt that our assigned reading was very informative and offered some new insights into the career of journalism. This quote, however, was a little off the mark. Now, maybe some people will see this entry as being overly picky, but I think it's a fundamental truth that was misconstrued in this quote. Reducing and eliminating errors should start with the journalist. Yes, obiviously the editor needs to make tracking errors a higher priority, but there are certain things that it's up to the reporter to get right. For example, has anyone ever been misquoted? I have, and so have many people I know. My sister gave a speech at our high school graduation that included a line, "While we like to think the end is the most important part of the journey, but it's the journey that matters in the end." The paper quoted her as saying, "The end is what matters in a journey." Yeah, not quite the same effect, is it?
Here there would have been no way for the editor to catch that this was a misquote, unless he/she had been sitting in and taking notes on the speeches. The journalist needs to be attentive and painstaking with his/her articles. Eliminating errors starts as soon as pencil hits paper, not as soon as the paper hits the editor's desk.