Sunday, May 21, 2006

 

An Eye-opening Fiasco at The New York Times

Don't miss New York Times public editor Byron Calame's blistering piece detailing how the paper ended putting on its front page this wrong account saying that Airbus was considering standing-room only spaces on planes. Calame gives us an eye-opening blow-by-blow explanation of how the story's "wow" potential enabled it to glide unchecked past one editor after another. And he concludes:
That this mess could splatter across the newsroom of such a fine newspaper moves me to be blunt. Times editors at all levels — especially on the news desk, where front-page and other important articles get a final review — need to pick up each story with the assumption that the most fascinating anecdote, or even the central premise, could be wrong. Readers deserve no less.

Ouch. Good thing the story wasn't about something more significant, like a leak from anonymous US officials saying that Iran's nuke capacities are far more advanced than is publicly known. But then, the paper would never commit this sort of series of errors on a story with that kind of importance, would it?

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