Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A New York Times mega correction

For my friends still laboring in the newspaper vineyard, here is a correction - out of the vaunted New York Times - that will make you feel like you should be working there and not the reporter who wrote the story. This was widely circulated so you may have already seen this.

The corrections were made July 22nd to a story written about Walter Cronkite's death. The mistakes are mind numbingly stupid.

Here's the text of the correction:

An appraisal on Saturday about Walter Cronkite’s career included a number of errors. In some copies, it misstated the date that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was killed and referred incorrectly to Mr. Cronkite’s coverage of D-Day. Dr. King was killed on April 4, 1968, not April 30. Mr. Cronkite covered the D-Day landing from a warplane; he did not storm the beaches. In addition, Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon on July 20, 1969, not July 26. “The CBS Evening News” overtook “The Huntley-Brinkley Report” on NBC in the ratings during the 1967-68 television season, not after Chet Huntley retired in 1970. A communications satellite used to relay correspondents’ reports from around the world was Telstar, not Telestar. Howard K. Smith was not one of the CBS correspondents Mr. Cronkite would turn to for reports from the field after he became anchor of “The CBS Evening News” in 1962; he left CBS before Mr. Cronkite was the anchor. Because of an editing error, the appraisal also misstated the name of the news agency for which Mr. Cronkite was Moscow bureau chief after World War II. At that time it was United Press, not United Press International. (Go to Article)

Here's what the Ombudsman said.

(Hat tip to Newspaper Death Watch for the links)


Anonymous said...

It reeks of the reporter getting the information from the Internets. A little wikipedia here, fan Joe's moon landing Web site there, there. You get the point.

truthiness said...

Alessandra Stanley, the NYT TV critic in question, has such a horrible record of errors for years that at times has had HER OWN COPY EDITOR assigned to her to check facts.

Stanley penned a blistering critique about Katie Couric when she went to the CBS News anchor chair and so it was amusing to see Katie devote one of her radio segments to the botched Cronkite obit. Ah, sweet revenge.

geewhy said...

I just got done fact checking a story. This has inspired me to fact check it again. Damn, that is bad.

Jim of L-Town said...


Your stuff is usually clean....

You have had some very good stories in some high places lately.

Congrats. Still love your website.