One of the hazards of newspaper work is that our boo-boos are so readily apparent.
Maybe folks in other businesses can get away with a small (or large) blunder, and not many people will be aware of it. But we can't.We can't cover up our bloopers because they're right there in black and white for tens of thousands of readers to see, clip out, laugh at, get mad about and call about.
We inevitably make mistakes, some minor and some major, even though our people are highly trained, and we stress accuracy and fairness.
The fact of life is that as we pull together the "daily miracle" of a metropolitan newspaper in a few hours time, goofs occur.
We are, in a sense, a factory - churning out stories on hundreds of topics and covering meetings, press conferences, speeches, accidents, crimes, government actions, personalities and everything else. We run dozens of obituaries, thousands of classified ads, hundreds of display ads and numerous listings of movies, television shows, coming events and news briefs.
We must use correct titles and proper spelling of names of hundreds of people in photos and stories. We must get dozens of addresses right, spell obscure words properly, use proper grammar, get stock market quotations and sports box scores right, and be certain our writing is clear and simple.
And stories and headlines must be coded properly, pages designed just right, stories edited to fit around the ads, and myriad other things.
And it all must come together in just a few hours time - every day. We don't just churn out the same product on an assembly line. Our product changes dramatically day after day, seven days a week.
We're always behind, always in a hurry. So, in the hubbub of it all, we do make mistakes. And we're glad to admit them - and correct them.
We run corrections in the same spot, at the bottom of the West column on B1, every time we goof. You've probably noticed the "Corrections and Clarifications" logo that runs with the corrections. Some papers scatter corrections all over in the newspaper, like they're hiding them, and few people see them. We print our corrections in the same place for everyone to see.
We strive to be error-free, and we don't make a lot of mistakes. Most that we do commit are minor and many result from incorrect information given to us by sources. But that's no excuse.
So watch the bottom of B1 for our goofs, blunders and boo-boos. We don't like 'em, but we'll own up to them.