A new blog reader wants to know if it alarms me how many times weâ€™re writing in this blog about mistakes in the paper. (The question wasnâ€™t stated so politely, but the gist of it was that we seem to have no shortage of errors to write about.)
The short answer: Not a bit.
The longer answer: I can argue as well as anyone, and for every time Iâ€™ve written in this blog that we fell short in some way â€“ I promise I could have made a credible argument instead for why we were right. But I donâ€™t see the value in doing that.
Every day, we publish thousands of facts. We have to pick which to include in a story and which we canâ€™t. We then summarize those facts in four to six words in a headline. And we do it on an inflexible deadline. Weâ€™re going to make mistakes.
But we do have to aspire to be perfect. I hate it when we get facts wrong. Or miss a typo. Or make a grammatical mistake. Or leave a fact out of a story that was critical to reader understanding, or balanced viewpoints. Or write a headline that misses the point of a story. I have a list thatâ€™s longer than the time you have to read this.
I make mistakes every day. Everyone does, whether they admit it or not. Thereâ€™s no reason not to acknowledge mistakes and focus on figuring out how they happened, and learn from them.
I work with a talented news staff of people who are deeply committed to publishing a great community newspaper. We succeed far, far more than we fail. When we come up short, we owe it to our readers to say so.
I would be alarmed if I thought we were unwilling to do that.