30 Aug 2010 [ Prev | Next ]

Haiman 1-16 OR Coffey iii-21

Due by 12:30pm.

First-timers Only (if you have not taken EL200 before): Read Haiman 1-16, and post a 200-word reflection in a comment on this page. (You may want to draft your comment in a word processor first, just in case you have trouble posting it on this page.)

Setonian Editors Only: Skim Haiman 1-16; read Coffey iii-21; and post an entry on your own blog about how Coffey illustrates an issue Haiman covers; post a brief comment and link here.


  • If you have not taken EL200 before, you will always read and reflect about Haiman.
  • If you are a Setonian editor, you will skim Haiman, but read and write about how Coffey illuminates an issue Haiman covers.



Published mistakes are leadership opportunities, you just wait and see.

The number of mistakes I find in my local papers astonishes me. I always chalked it up to the ignorance of my small town. Sure the paper seemed biased (even towards which sports it covered in detail) and the grammar/spelling was flawed, but I guess I didn't expect much from such an inconsequential paper. The problem inaccuracy and unfairness seems to be spreading past small town papers under the excuse high pressures and deadlines. Of course, that excuse can be valid, and no matter how much verification is done, no story is perfect or error free. Still, readers have plenty of reason to question the reliability of print media. I know I do occasionally. As for the question of corrections posted in the paper, I do not know how I feel. I agree that corrections should be posted in a consistent spot. I also agree that corrections should be apologetic and understandable. However I find an in-depth explanation of each mistake (including name of the person responsible) a bit excessive. If a person didn’t read the story with the mistake, is it completely necessary to understand the exact mistake made in context to the story? Arguable. Must space that could be used for actual news, be spent on detailed apologies? I do not necessarily think so. Newspaper writing is first and foremost about the news, granted accuracy and apologies are essential.

I feel that errors in the newspaper will always be a habitual issue. In my eyes , it all leads back to how a reporter was trained to write and how much experience they have in the field. I know the local papers in my hometown are typically mediocre stories that take no more than thirty minutes to compile, but then again, it’s simply the local newspaper. They write simple stories because of what audience they’re addressing. High school students bask in the limelight if they see their picture or a brief mention of their name in a story that could be covering a sporting game that occurred three weeks ago. Those athletes don’t take thought into the errors. They are satisfied with what they see. This kind of reader doesn’t help out the error cause, they merely support the poor writing skills of the reporters. If we want to fix the grammatical and factual problems, then we must grab the attention of the reader with more force.
I was however surprised with how much fairness is taken accountable in the newspaper industry. After reading this, it seems hard to imagine that many journalists receive much sincere credit for their writings. Instead of touching on the good aspects on an article, the readers continually harp on the mistakes the journalist made. I’m not supporting false statements or false information printed in the newspaper. Just keep in mind that it’s extremely hard to find a completely perfect article these days. Information is always not completely accurate once passed from person to person.

Man is not perfect, no matter his status, position, or rank. Mistakes are a part of human nature and are nothing to be ashamed of. For example Chief Justice Roberts mistakenly recited the oath of office incorrectly. Even a man of his stature makes mistakes every now and then, however the real problem is not the mistake itself, but not acknowledging or attempting to correct the error. Newspapers will always have little errors no matter how many editors or staff members review and overlook articles. Journalist live a very stressed lives full of traveling, interviews, meetings, and deadlines. With such busy lives readers should be understandable if some mistakes are made such as a number or letter are out of place. However at the same time newspapers should be willing to make correct their errors in their next issue. I am not saying little problems such as spelling or grammar should be reason to reprint an issue, but papers should be willing to correct mistakes such as mistakes in the calendar or wrong information. Many people rely on newspapers to give them honest, reliable, and unbiased information, so I am shocked to hear so many people do not trust newspapers. I believe the issue of trust in newspapers is a two way street. Even though the papers are at fault for the mistakes they make and their inability to correct them, however the public also needs to be more understanding of the newspapers workload. The public and newspapers need to unite in order to create a workable system in which the public can once again begin to trust. There is no such thing as perfection, but we should always aim to be close.

I agree that perfection is impossible, but it still should be aimed for. As much and imperfection is part of human nature, distrust is also. Newspapers have been viewed as a sort of higher power of information. Journalists have to be humble and own their mistakes if the public is ever going to learn to re-trust them.

It does seem like journalist get a lot of criticism and not a lot of praise. Although I think that journalists should be humble and admit to their mistakes, I also think that they work incredibly hard.

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Katy Snyder on Haiman 1-16 OR Coffey iii-21: It does seem like journalist g
Katy Snyder on Haiman 1-16 OR Coffey iii-21: I agree that perfection is imp
Jalen Gumbs on Haiman 1-16 OR Coffey iii-21: Man is not perfect, no matter
Rebecca Portillo on Haiman 1-16 OR Coffey iii-21: I feel that errors in the news
Aja Hannah on Haiman 1-16 OR Coffey iii-21: http://blogs.blogs.setonhill.e
Katelyn Snyder on Haiman 1-16 OR Coffey iii-21: The number of mistakes I find
Maddie Gillespie on Haiman 1-16 OR Coffey iii-21: Published mistakes are leaders
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