During my days as a reporter, the most egregious errors I made were to leave a key ‘s’ off the end of the word assess and I called the time between the three periods in hockey “halftime.”
There’s a certain feeling that washes over your entire body when you realize the error, but eventually you move on and never make the same mistake twice.
Poynter has released its best and worst media errors and corrections list for 2013, and suffice to say there are some doozies.
It’s a list that no one in media wants to be on, but it’s also a great lesson on how to say you’re sorry.
The year’s worst error award went to “60 Minutes” and its incredibly flawed report about the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on the diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.
This Star Wars-themed correction from Tampa Bay Times
was definitely a favorite:
In a story on Sunday about a speed dating event at Tampa Bay Comic Con, a Tampa Bay Times reporter not strong in the ways of the Force (or Star Wars lore) quoted moderator Croix Provence as asking, "Are you ready to find love in all the wrong places?"
What Provence actually asked was, "Are you ready to find love in Alderaan places?" She was referring to Princess Leia Organa's home world, which appeared briefly in the 1977 film.
Regret the error, we do.
And then there was this fantastic on-air correction from Brian Williams, showing exactly how to make it up to an entire state you’ve completely forgotten:
The Halifax Chronicle Herald misspelled the name of its own paper
, but that’s not nearly as bad as what KTVU reported in the aftermath of the Asiana Airlines crash
in San Francisco.
The answer is no—you’re not allowed to laugh at that.
[RELATED: Get advanced brand journalism tips from Mark Ragan and Jim Ylisela—choose from multiple cities!]
For the much more comprehensive (and fantastic) list of the best and worst of the year, visit Poynter
has released its annual “Hack List,”
(creatively written in the style of the writers listed) with the not-at-all-coveted No. 1 spot going to Politico’s Mike Allen.