For want of a copy editor accuracy was lost

Business page banner hed.

Business page banner hed.

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 …”

Big difference.

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.

Hed on jump of story.

Hed on jump of story.



8 comments on “For want of a copy editor accuracy was lost

  1. Gov Sandoval and his adoring Nevada liberal press corps constantly beating the drums saying Nevada economy is great. These lies then used to justify the largest tax increase in history (Nevada is second only to West Virginia in the highest unemployment rate in the country, at 7.2%).


    Per June 18, 2015 ‪#‎RalstonLive‬ interview of HRC, she is embracing Mitt Romney’s “self deportation” concept. Illegal immigrants / Mexicanos are going home to a rapidly improving economy back in the old county of Mexico

  2. Steve says:

    It could have been worse,,,,,at least the letter “l” made the headline!

  3. Marti Rundus says:

    I caught the illegal in the headline vs the legal in the story right away when I read the article this morning. What has happened at the RJ has me wondering how much longer I will pay for the subscription.

  4. […] Las Vegas newspaper contained two glaring errors Saturday, but only one warranted a correction in the paper […]

  5. Debra McGuire says:

    The R-J is cutting into the bone of its copy editing staff – its veteran slot editor, an award-winning headline writer and another copy editor veteran were told Friday that they are going. The few left are, I suspect, in a state of traumatic stress.

  6. So much for the new publisher saying “no immediate plans for any change in staffing — and not even on the long horizon.”

  7. Debra McGuire says:

    Well, we wouldn’t want them to be hindered by such a quaint concept as honesty, would we? That’s so old-style, Thomas Mitchell era! LOL!

  8. Steve says:

    Honesty and inclusion?
    WTF are you thinking!!!!?
    Get with the program. The whole thing is secret, dysfunction, knee jerk and last second anymore.
    I miss Kodak!

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