Reins! For *#(&(# sake, they're reins, @Inc!!! How to Take the Reigns of a Family Business http://t.co/U67stXiY9p"That restaurant in Venice isn't where John Irving says it is. It's actually in Milan. What are we going to do?"
— Denise Graveline (@dontgetcaught) December 1, 2014
Back when I was editing and writing for magazines, you'd have a conversation that started like that with your fact-checker or copy editor, roles that don't exist in many places producing content these days. But what I notice is that many journos and communicators aren't even having that conversation with themselves when they publish. Today, content-producers of every stripe are getting caught in errors, almost hourly. And I'm not the only one noticing:
- In Are newsrooms investing enough in social media staff?, Social Times looks at a Jim Romenesko post complaining about the rise in published mistakes in news stories.
- In Comcast leaves editing note in corporate blog, Ragan looks at one example blog blunder.
- In New York Times experienced premature publication on Keystone XL, we learn about a modern-day "Dewey Defeats Truman" moment via Mediabistro. And Adweek looks at how the Times invented a new nation, Kyrzbekistan, gaining love (and mockery) from the Internet.
- Business Insider looks at coverage after tweets from a funeral for two New York Police Department slain officers featured photos from the wrong funeral.
There may well be fewer copy editors and fact-checkers, even at premiere news organizations. But this problem is as old as the hills for both journalists and communicators, and I'm here to say that the same people bemoaning the lack of copy editors were once themselves junior staffers who could spell. No need to be ageist now.