Pardon me for being nitpicking, but mistakes kill the credibility of a newspaper.
As I have pointed out before, the credibility — and therefore the value — of any newspaper rests less with objectivity and fairness than with having a reputation for accuracy and being error free.
A 1999 study found:
Each misspelled word, bad apostrophe, garbled grammatical construction, weird cutline and mislabeled map erodes public confidence in a newspaper’s ability to get anything right. One focus group even laughed out loud when asked whether mistakes ever appeared in their paper.
Today the Las Vegas newspaper reported that Gov. Brian Sandoval’s office had announced that “Nevada’s public sector job growth ranked second in the nation last year …”
No, the governor’s office announced that “Nevada now ranks second in the nation for private sector job growth …”
Then there was the matter of the jump hed on a story about the Charleston church shooting and all the calls for gun control. The hed reads: “Gun used in shooting purchased illegally, officials say.”
The penultimate graph of the story reads: “When Roof was arrested — about 250 miles from Charleston in neighboring North Carolina — he had a Glock .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun that law enforcement officials said he obtained in April, either receiving it as a birthday gift or buying it himself with birthday money. The gun was purchased legally, officials said.”
That is a major, major aspect of the story, and the headline writer blew it big time and no one caught it.