Why Editing Counts: Oops Edition

Editing is like catching sand in a pasta strainer: No matter how good you are, you’re never catching everything. Even if you have dozens of shots at something and myriad folks editing the hell out of something, you’ll still miss something at some point.

Case in point: I got the final proofs for the second edition of the reporting book this week. This is literally the very last look we get at the content before it shows up on Amazon and in your school bookstore. It has been reviewed at least a dozen times by no fewer than eight people, all of them with the goal of keeping anything stupid from hitting the page.

On the second to last chapter, in a caption involving Elon Musk, I just had a weird feeling so I Googled the name of someone else involved in the photo. Turns out, we had the wrong first name on that other person.

Twelve edits, eight people, thousands of hours into this thing, it’s a brain twitch at the last minute that catches something like that. And I’m sure I missed at least a few things anyway.

That’s why it often feels like a rigged game when you’re working in journalism, under pressure, with limited resources, an understaffed editorial crew and such to try to get things right. Still, we do better than most at least half the time. Besides, you can’t beat the hours…

Here are a couple moments of “oh boy” that could have been avoided with an edit (or maybe not):

Even if he didn’t, that’s still an impressive buck:

I found this among my Facebook memories, with one of my friends having sent it to me saying, “I thought you should see this one!” I still don’t know how I feel about being the “go-to guy” for entropy, but I’m grateful for the support:

With an 8-point rack on that deer, I really hope he didn’t do what the paper says he did. Hemorrhoids are no laughing matter…


It’s either a great headline or a horrible headline, depending on if you meant to do it:

I have no love for the New England Patriots, so I found it somewhat amusing when the team owner, Robert Kraft, had been accused of soliciting prostitution at a “spa” in South Florida. Earlier this month, prosecutors decided to drop the charges against him.

One news source reported this in a truly spectacular way:

I love the New York Post some days…

From the “There’s My Flair” Department

I caught this one while reading up on my beloved Cleveland baseball team:

Um… No, they haven’t. They’ve had a “flair for the dramatic,” which means they’ve got a talent or an innate ability to produce something of exciting and engaging proportions.

A “flare for the dramatic” would be more like this scene: (Trigger Warning: Don’t watch if you don’t like scary movies or foul language.)



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