Mistakes and missteps

Wash, rinse, don’t repeat

not teaching, still THINKING … An embarrassingly number of times, the following has happened to me: Go to washing machine, set all of the dials, start water, open lid — only to find not an empty washer, but instead a washer full of clean clothes, already washed, rinsed and spun. And now those clothes are […]

Instant recall is a tricky undertaking

In a visual exercise the other day to demonstrate how editors must be mindful of a variety of issues in a story, I donned two different earrings (usually, I wear none); a pin with three snowmen (it’s September); my jacket backward (on only one arm) and a sock (on my other arm). When students returned […]

Fewer editors in 2020? Not likely

I recently read about an internal report at The New York Times that maps its plan “to accelerate the (digital) transformation while maintaining a commitment to high-quality journalism.” Not surprisingly, the headline on its own coverage states: “New York Times Study Calls for Rapid Change in Newsroom.” Haven’t we been experiencing rapid change for some […]

These errors led to corrections

When news is accurate, then readers trust the information and the institution. They consider the news product credible. Credibility hinges on accuracy. Once accuracy is in doubt, credibility can be lost. And once credibility is lost, it is difficult to regain. Journalists are in the habit of checking facts and questioning everything. They do it […]

Your or you’re? Here’s how to remember

Pity the poor phrase “you’re welcome” because it often appears incorrectly as “your welcome.” The two words have different meanings and uses, and here are some tips to help you choose the right one. The possessive is “your” — it means something that belongs to you. The contraction is “you’re” — it means “you are.” […]

Libel basics and warning signs to know

A role of journalists and communicators is to ensure that published material is not libelous. This means they must have a basic understanding of libel law and what to do when in doubt about potentially libelous content. It’s all about being aware and proactive, especially in situations where there are fewer “eyes” on stories. The […]