Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Stupid errors invite criticism

Sometimes we make errors that are just plain stupid. I'm not sure anyone can explain it - it's not that we don't know the facts, it's just that a reporter, even an experienced reporter, simply gets it wrong and then neither the sub nor the proof reader picks it up.

We did it yesterday in our report on the switch-on of Leicester's Diwali lights. For some inexplicable reason the reporter got the location wrong and used the word Hindi instead of Hindu.

Online, our readers were quick to point out the errors:
LM, suggest you re-train/educate your staff or hire adequate journalists. The area is Belgrave Road, not Belgrave Gate..........and it is a Hindu festival (not Hindi) and the community is also Hindu not Hindi!

Good night, however I agree, Leicester Mercury do need to get a proof reader! Point One, its Belgrave Road, not Belgrave Gate as Belgrave Gate is over the Flyover. Secondly, its Hindu and not Hindi! Just small things makes a big difference! But yeah it was good!
I couldn't agree more. Small things, but makes a big difference.

To make matters worse, having spotted the errors in the paper, we then left them on our website even after our readers started pointing them out! I tried to correct them myself in the early evening last night (far too late), only to find that our web publishing system had ground to a halt and, try as I might for over an hour, I just couldn't make the changes. I tried again at 10pm without success and finally corrected the article at 2am this morning, adding the following apology:
Thank you for pointing out the errors in this article. They have now been corrected and I apologise that they were made in the first place and for the amount of time it has taken for us to put them right on the site.
Still, I can't help thinking the damage is done.