Monday, August 03, 2009
# Posted 11:18 PM by Ariel David Adesnik
Five editors read the article at different times, but none subjected it to rigorous fact-checking, even after catching two other errors in it...Here's what we learn about Alessandra Stanley, author of the mistakes in question:
Stanley said she was writing another article on deadline at the same time and hurriedly produced the appraisal, sending it to her editor with the intention of fact-checking it later. She never did...I'm glad to know there are twenty writers at the Times more prone to errors than Ms. Stanley.
Although you may have sensed a bit of schadenfreude in this post, I will take note of a very different response from my wife. She found it petty for the Times to review in such detail how mistakes were made. Certainly, that approach only whets the appetite of perennial critics such as myself.
I responded that this is the only way to ensure accountability. Unless names are named and responsibility is taken, journalists will not be accountable. Politicians are accountable to the voters, to their adversaries, and to the media. As bloggers are so fond of saying, who watches the journalists?
The fourth estate is by no means as powerful as the government, but is certainly powerful enough to warrant persistent oversight. As for oversight of the blogosphere, the comment section is open.
Cross-posted at Conventional Folly (2) opinions -- Add your opinion
Little things do matter because if someone can't get the little things right, how can they be trusted to get the big things right?
My concern is, the New York Times is the top of the journalistic heap, the best of the best in that world. They can pick and choose their staff in a way no other paper can. And yet, what is the punishment for a reporter who makes an embarrassingly large number of mistakes?
Her punishment is, she gets a personal assistant.
If the Times were serious about getting the details right, they'd fire her and hire someone who would love to work for the Times and is willing to work her ass off to get it right.
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