2011, in errors

Craig Silverman of Regret the Error, a blog that Poynter recently acquired, has published his annual roundup of notable media errors. It provides many reminders about the importance of careful reporting and editing, as well as laughs (with a dash of schadenfreude). Taking the prize for typo of the year is the “Osama/Obama” mixup, which slipped past copy editors a surprising number of times in 2011, putting smiles on more than a few Republican faces, surely. Below, a few of our favourite corrections:

From the Guardian:

…Elsewhere the piece referred to “damaging stories of royal profligacy past: Charles with his staff of 150, and an aide to squeeze his toothpaste for him”. Of this, Miguel Head writes: “The Prince of Wales does not employ and has never employed an aide to squeeze his toothpaste for him. This is a myth without any basis in factual accuracy.”

From the Wall Street Journal:

“Empire Strikes Backstraat” isn’t the name of an actual street in Almere, the Netherlands. An earlier version of this article incorrectly said the town had a street with that name.

From the Sun (U.K.):

An article on 16 August reported that Manchester United footballer Tom Cleverley had begged a girl for sex after meeting her at a night club, even though he was dating a Page 3 model. In fact, entirely unknown to the girl it now transpires that the man involved, who looked like Tom Cleverley, was impersonating him. We apologise to Mr Cleverley for any embarrassment caused.

And a little CanCon…

From the Toronto Sun:

In articles we wrote and published in the Toronto Sun and its website on Dec. 18, 2010 and Jan. 2, 2011, entitled “TTC Union Needs to be Curbed” and “Rob Ford’s big fight: Levy,” we stated that Bob Kinnear, the President of the Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 113, is a union mob boss.

We acknowledge this statement is untrue and we retract it without reservation. We regret this error and apologize to Mr. Kinnear. The Sun did not intend to imply that Mr. Kinnear is in any way, shape or form associated with organized crime.

From the Ottawa Citizen:

A story in Saturday’s Real Deal section suggested that a fun thing to do for Halloween is to write “poison” on a plastic jar or bottle and fill it with candy for the kids to eat. A picture that accompanied the story showed a skull and crossbones image similar to the symbol used to indicate something is poisonous. The Citizen understands the need to train children not to touch and never to eat or drink from bottles or jars with that symbol on it, and it was a lapse in judgment for us to have suggested otherwise. For expert poison advice 24 hours a day, anywhere in Ontario, call 1-800-268-9017, or visit the Ontario Poison Centre website.

The Citizen wishes everyone a safe and enjoyable Halloween.

Read the full report here.

Posted on December 19, 2011 at 1:05 pm by editor · · Tagged with: , , ,

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