I asked colleagues at the World-Herald and elsewhere to share their stories, which they did quite eagerly. I sorted them by lessons learned. This was the forerunner to my workshops on accuracy for editors and reporters, for which the handouts are already online at No Train, No Gain (along with most of my other training handouts).
Anthony was kind enough to send me a pdf of the handout, which I have cut and pasted (with a little editing to fix mistakes that snuck past me then or to make it more appropriate for today). I promised confidentiality, so that I wouldn’t need to verify the third-person stories and so that people would feel free sharing the embarrassing first-person stories. A few people gave me permission to use their names in 2001. I have removed their names now, rather than track them down now and ask if it’s still OK to name them.
The stories and lessons are more print-centric than they would be if I were to collect stories today. But I think they still contain some valuable lessons for journalists: (more…)