Date: Fri Oct 06 2000 - 12:08:12 PDT
Suppose they got just a little embarrassed about that whole "The ice cap is
AWASH IN ERRORS, THE NEW YORK TIMES
RECRUITS CORRECTIONS CZAR
Friday , October 06 11:32 a.m.
"We have a problem. We're making too many mistakes." That dramatic
lede comes straight from the desk of New York Times metro editor
Jonathan Landman, who used it to kick off a cranky internal e-mail to his
staffers on Thursday. The
gist of Landman's missive: Start double-checking your stories -- or else.
"It isn't a pretty picture,"
Landman writes, going on to say that during the first nine months of this
year, the metro section ran
253 corrections, 50 percent more than during the same period in 1999.
Landman ticks off some of the
more egregious errata: "One reporter put something into a story aware that
it might be wrong, hoping
the desk would catch it. Another thought something was OK to print because
she read it in a book. A
copy editor let a mistake go by rather than persevering in an unpleasant
fight with a reporter."
Landman doesn't mention Wen Ho Lee. But his note comes just a week after
soul-searching elsewhere at the Times over the Lee affair, in which a
nuclear scientist was suspected
of leaking nuclear secrets to China. Facing criticism of its early,
somewhat high-pitched coverage, the
Times ran two assessments of its Lee stories and editorials, both of them
admitting to some
less-than-exemplary editorial judgment.
Back at the wayward metro desk, Landman writes that the Times has handed a
named Patrick LaForge the very Soviet-sounding title of "corrections
commissioner." LaForge's role is
to force erring writers and editors to explain in writing why they goofed
and how they might have
avoided the mistake. Habitual offenders will have to answer to Landman
himself, who warns that
frequent mistakes will weigh on employees' annual evaluations. In sum,
writes Landman, "We all need
to worry a little bit more."
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Fri Oct 13 2000 - 18:45:45 PDT