Last Saturday (July 31) I wrote about blogs for the Globe and Mail. I had originally pitched the Globe about attending a Toronto conference entitled Exploring the Fusion Power of Public and Participatory Journalism that was going to be held on Tuesday, August 3 and writing about the results. The Globe decided that a preview of the conference would be a much better idea. I mention this because doing a preview meant I had a little over a day to turn in 1,300 words. As a magazine writer, I’m used to a much slower pace.
If that sounds like the gentle eddies of an excuse forming, you’re sorta right, but a mistake is a mistake, regardless of the looming deadline. And so, I apologize for writing Matt Welsh, instead of Welch in my blog article. I have corrected the error in the version of the article that appears on my website. (See link in first sentence.)
Of course, the only thing worse than making an error is getting caught making an error. And inside today’s National Post (August 7, 2004), in a commentary column about covering the recent DNC, Matt Welch writes:
Not that I’m complaining, mind you. It’s always fun to have your work read, and any press is good press, as long as they spell your name right. (Psst! Globe and Mail guys! It’s W-e-l-c-h!)
Touché Welch. I mean, the guy has a website with the URL www.mattwelch.com. How could I mungle that one? (FYI: Mungle being a mixture of mangle and bungle, as opposed to a typo, which would be an even richer irony, given the whole mess.)
It is always a little scary hitting the send button for any newspaper article I file, because contrary to popular belief, there is nothing akin to fact-checking performed at any of the newspapers I write for. And since I know this, I tend to be as careful as I can. Still, as Jeff Jarvis (by way of Ken Layne) noted at the Fusion Power conference, "We [bloggers] fact-check your [Big Media’s] ass." And ultimately, that is a good thing. Except, of course, when the blogger pinches the ass of Bigge Media. I promise to be even more diligent from herein.
And I take some solace in the fact that, to the best of my knowledge, there are no errors in my article about the swing in the alley that appears in today’s Toronto section of the Post.
By the way, I feel it worthwhile to note that I received the swing article assignment on Tuesday, July 27. I mention this because a few days later, the Saturday Globe (bastards!) wrote about the swing. I do not wish people to think I get my National Post Toronto section ideas by reading the Toronto section of the Globe and Mail.
Rather than end this post with a mote of grace, I will instead conclude by mentioning Robert Fulford’s takedown of Edward Greenspon’s Saturday ramblings. As Fulford wrote today:
Greenspon’s "Letter from the Editor," which appears in a prominent position on Page Two, may be the most spectacular example in current Canadian journalism of a bad idea badly executed.
Editorial problems may excite him … but they’re no fun to read about. They’re dreary, even for people in the business.
In fact, Greenspon makes editing sound so deadly that it’s as if he were trying to discourage the young from entering journalism.
Or at the very least, encourage them start a blog instead.