Thursday, December 14, 2006

Oops! Great Newspaper Corrections

I just found a fun Web site, listed on the right-hand sidebar, called Regret the Error. As a former journalist, I have always subscribed to the philosophy that if you are going to make a mistake, don't screw up someone's middle initial, because that pisses off not only them but everyone they know. If you're going to err, go for the big one.

And, a reminder that should hardly be necessary: That newspapers make corrections at all indicates they take their responsibilities seriously, more so than any other industry I can think of. And since papers began this trend about 20 years ago, they make the best reading.

I know I go there first, and then to the obits. If I am in neither column, I go about my day.

Here are the best, according to the journos at Regret the Error:

Correction of the Year
We have to admit it was a tough choice this year. Last year’s winner was a classic example of a typo gone horribly wrong. This year, we are going to recognize a correction that won largely on the strength of one part of one sentence: “…no revellers dived into bedrooms in search of drunken romps…” Okaaay. It makes reading the offending article all the more necessary. And because it’s from the Sun (U.K.), you know you’re in for something outrageous. Not that we seek to celebrate this kind of totally false reporting. In fact, we give this award in an effort to give media everywhere pause the next time they hear about a scandalous birthday party involving teenage guests passing out, vomiting and diving into bedrooms in search of drunken romps. Heck, we’ve all taken that call before.
From the Sun (U.K.):

Following our article on Princess Eugenie’s birthday celebrations, we have been asked to point out the party was closely monitored by adults throughout and while a small amount of mess was cleared away at the end of the evening, there was no damage to furniture, no revellers dived into bedrooms in search of drunken romps and to describe the house as being trashed was incorrect. We are happy to make this clear and regret any distress our report caused. Link

An excerpt from the offending story:

ASTONISHED witnesses told last night how Princess Eugenie’s 16th birthday party descended into a drunken rave – with teenage guests snogging, boozing and being sick.
Fifty youngsters had flocked to the Hooray Henry bash at the Duchess of York’s Pounds 10 million mansion.
But rather than sitting down to a meal prepared by caterers, some began knocking back champagne, spirits and strong lager they had secretly smuggled in – and quickly became legless.
...The witness told how randy guests dived into BEDROOMS in search of drunken romps.
Others PASSED out because they were so drunk, while several VOMITED inside the property.
And rooms were TRASHED, with carpets stained and cigarettes stubbed out on furniture as the March 18 party continued into the early hours, to the strains of a blaring disco.

Runner Up
From the Wilmington, Delaware News Journal:

An article in Sunday’s Local section on the estate sale of former Gov. Elbert Carvel quoted Olin Vanaman of Wilmington about his excitement in purchasing 35 of the governor’s decanters during the auction, including one used at Queen Elizabeth’s coronation. Vanaman said he used a slang term when describing Carvel as "a big boozer,” but he did not mean that the former governor was a heavy drinker. Vanaman refers to people who collect decanters as "boozers,” he explained, "the same as guys who collect cars are gear-heads.” No reference to drinking or the consumption of alcohol was intended in the article. Link

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:08 AM

    LOL The Princess Eugenie story seems par for the course for our young royals these days but why are their 'minders' so keen to avoid the impression that they are a bunch of over-rich, over-sexed spoilt brats with nothing to do except screw and drink? I wish I had been born that lucky!

    One of my friends lives near the Rattlebone Inn in Sherston, Wiltshire, from which Prince Harry has been banned for 3 years after wrecking the bar when on an under age drinking spree with school friends. One asks where his security men were on this occasion.

    Anyway I envy the kid who made it with Eugenie, if anyone did. She is quite a little cracker!!

    Brian F.