Saturday, March 1, 2008

The Corrections

Freefromeditors has an insider's look at the Flint Journal's mystifying approach to reducing errors in the paper:
Just this past Sunday (Feb. 24), again, the Journal editor wrung his hands publicly in his column and told his readers how hard the paper was working to eliminate mistakes. Heck, when I was there he offered a semi-annual drawing for a $20 gas card among reporters who had gone six months without having to post a correction.

At the meeting where this "carrot" was announced I told him I thought the offer was demeaning and that any good journalist should avoid mistakes out of professional pride and that vying for a $20 gas card was insulting. But the offer remained and the only winners (so far) have been a woman who compiles the wedding announcements and a graphic page designer. Now that's really fair! You take people who handled pre-written copy into the mix of reporters dealing with complicated interviews, facts, figures and working under deadling and consider them equals.

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Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at