Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Devil's in the Details ...

Just about anyone who has been in the news business long enough will have a story - or two - of the one that got through ... an error that got through composition, proofing and re-proofing. I'm not talking about a simple typo such as a mis-spelt word or a fault in punctuation. Rather I'm talking about a factual error ... a representation something that just ain't so.

The latest example comes from one of our national television news broadcasters ...

Apparently after 5,000-or-so years, Egypt has grown tired of the old neighborhood, and has moved. Really, though, I don't know if it was a move 'up' ... I mean sure, they no longer have Sudan as a next-door neighbor ... but now they have Iran!

I've deliberately deleted the bottom portion of this screen shot. Doesn't really matter who did it ... it happens to just about anybody at one time or another. And not just among your local news producers, either ... even the 'big boys' let one get through every now and then.

And it also happens to most news CONSUMERS, too. There are those who will latch on to mistakes such this as proof for their shrill denunciations of the mainstream media and its degradation. From my own experience, I suspect most of media's detractors would do far worse if they found themselves flying a journalist's desk for a while.

But, hey, it happens ... whether you're relocating Egypt, introducing Hoobert Heever, or announcing that Dewey has defeated Truman. What's more important is what you learn from it, and figure out how you might do things a little differently the next time.

Pay close attention to the details ... that's where you'll find the Devil.

On another Egypt note ... in the midst of the ongoing protests, please keep that troubled country and its people in your prayers.


Eric Siegmund said...

OK, who gave you permission to take a screen shot of my post? ;-)

Jeff said...


Sheesh, Eric ... I hope not ... you've set the level to which we all aspire!