Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Expositor errors

Darren Zettler, a Brantford Expositor read fed up with typos in the Sun Media daily challenged the editor to print his letter to the editor.

It got published.

Zettler writes:

"I am a subscriber of the Expositor six days a week and read it daily. Over the years the number of spelling mistakes I find in the newspaper has been astonishing to say the least. 

"Saturday's headline that read "Judge sides with city on injuction" was the straw that broke the camel's back. This was a front page headline. 

"I would strongly suggest that the Expositor staff all turn the spell check feature to ON in the settings of their computer's word processing program and that those people in charge of proof reading (assuming that there is someone who does this) please start to do their job.

"I also wonder if the editor of the paper has the courage to print this letter."

To their credit, editors at the London Free Press, Sudbury Star, Brantford Expositor and other Sun media newspapers are publishing letters critical of their products.

What is done about reader complaints is another matter.

In the old days at the flagship Toronto Sun, letters from readers taking the tabloid to task for botching something in print usually prompted an apology and a promise to shape up.

But those were the days when we had ample staff, including proofreaders, and the time to minimize errors before the presses rolled.


  1. "a Brantford Expositor read fed up with typos"

    Oh, the eyernee!

  2. It's the same at every paper where one or two editors are expected to do it all thanks to staffing cuts.

    They are overworked and under tighter deadlines thanks to printing being moved elsewhere. Mistakes are missed more often because there aren't enough people or time to thoroughly proof pages.

    And if they have to ship stuff to a Centre of Excellence to design the page, don't expect anyone there to catch anything. They are told to simply just copy and paste whatever is sent to them. Errors and all.

    It's a piss-poor system but no one seems to give a damn about fixing it as that would require hiring more people.

  3. I think you mean "a Brantford Expositor reader."

  4. Give 6:56 p.m. and 2:33 p.m. Sun Media proofreading jobs. How better to highlight a typo posting than with a flaw. :-)

  5. It isn't just Sun Media. This afternoon's Toronto Star front page has a story on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) along with main art of the TSX building. Small problem though, the building in the photo is not the TSX, (which is located two blocks away). Hate when that happens. The secondary inside photo is also wrong. Oh well .... but at least we're saving money on proofreaders.

  6. A lower level of quality has now become the acceptable standard of quality.

  7. At our paper, most nights the only proof reader is yours truly.
    I do my best, but like most editors, if I've made a mistake I keep reading like it was right all along.
    Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to have a job, but one editor and no proof readers is really no way to operate.

  8. Nice to see the Sun "Family" making repeated posts about how bad the papers are. This is truly a morale booster for those still working at them. We know there are errors. Hell, they're in our stories. In some cases they're our own mistakes. Other times someone else has put them there. One post would've made your point. Regular critiques of every paper's errors, when it's common knowledge we have half (or less) of our former staff, is just stupid and helps no one.

  9. There isn't a single department at 333 that isn't understaffed, overworked and 100 per cent unhappy. I imagine that goes for the rest of the chain as well.

    If they paid us enough to actually afford it I'm sure most staffers would have drinking problems by now...

  10. 9:28 pm: Venting on this Sun "Family" site about quality is often the only place we can turn. Have you gone through the frustration of trying to talk about quality to management? At least here we get a little satisfaction knowing others do care

  11. 4:34 - Many times but they're as frustrated as the rest of us because the decisions are made at a level where the air is clearly thinner. Venting's fine. But I was referring to the blog's willingness to give the readers' bashing an even bigger audience. It's bad enough we have to put up with (understandable) reader negativity at work. Now we get to come on here and see that the blog is pointing everyone else in the chain and going "hey look, these people screwed up AGAIN this week!" Pretty dysfunctional family.

  12. It hasn't gotten any better since then.