Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Every Time a Major News Website Makes a Typo, an Angel Gets Her Wings

I love it when the big boys of the journalism world make little typos — not because the typos are egregious or even funny, but because they help me put my own skills in perspective. So here's a headline from the main page at today's LATimes.com:

A Boston University medical student charged in the hotel slaying of a masseuse and the robbery of a another preyed on women he found through Craigslist and investigators are looking for other possible victims, authorities said.

When I was city editor at a community newspaper, I assumed I stunk. Little typos like "a another" would get past me all the time. I was always apologizing to reporters for letting those boo-boos appear under their names.

I had no idea.

The place I worked at was very low-budget (think: full-time, work-their-butts-off reporters making $425 a week). So there weren't many layers of editors — usually just me and a lone overworked copy editor. Sometimes just me.

Now I freelance at a better-funded place. And now I know. Every piece that goes to print is edited in the computer twice then proofread on the page by at least two different people. No fewer than four people read each story. And this is marketing copy — not even the serious editorial stuff in which typos are most taboo.

I don't know how many layers of proofing/editing the Los Angeles Times now applies to its Web headlines. (Hell, these days they're lucky they can afford those little pads and pens for their remaining reporters.) But I'm sure they still have a decent number of people trolling for these types of boo-boos.

Yet some still get through.

Ipso facto: Maybe I didn't stink so bad after all.

Bookmark and Share

No comments:


Bookmark and Share