Saturday, 14 February 2009

Typos etc

Disclosure: TSF makes errors. Typos, sometimes factual.

But we're not a major daily newspaper with tens of thousands of readers expecting reporters and editors to at least attempt to get it right.

The Toronto Sun hasn't had a dedicated rewrite desk since 1994 and it laid off its proofreaders on Black Tuesday.

Bob McConachie, a Sun vet and respected newsman, was scheduled to revive the rewrite desk, but he opted for a buyout.

So what do you get without a rewrite desk and proofreaders, and a skeleton staff shell-shocked by years of newsroom cutbacks?

You get typos and other glaring errors, as in today's Sun:

Page 3: Residents of the neighborhood where the plane crash were . . .

Page 4: When the list of names from Continental flight 3407 were released . . .

Page 5: Also killed were two members of Chuck Mangione's band: saxophonist Gerry Niewood and guitarist Gerry Niewood.

We stopped taking notes at Page 5.

The Toronto Sun newsroom no longer has the manpower to get the job done properly. As one TSF reader put it, if we weren't talking a major daily newspaper, you could mistake it for a sweat shop.

There was a time when astute Sun readers would circle errors or call the switchboard to advise the newsroom to try harder - and we listened.

Perhaps the Sun should have an error jar, with every error in print requiring management to put $10 in the jar for charity, say Variety Village.

Speaking of errors, have you noticed the increase in Sun advertising corrections in recent weeks?

With all of the Black Tuesday layoffs and layoffs and buyouts since Dec. 16 gone, the quality of journalism and the final product at 333 will no doubt reach new lows.

TSF doubts the Toronto Sun's print edition as we know it, on its present, destructive course, will be around for its 40th anniversary in 2011.

And who would have thought that during the giddy glory years when newspaper people ruled the roost and the future of the Little Paper That Grew was rosy?

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