Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm a retired teacher turned writer. Ferradiddledumday (my Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story) and Stuck (my middle grade paranormal novel) are available from Cedar Creek Publishing.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Correcting the Error

Whereas the Roanoke Times did not print the letter I wrote for the opinion page (despite one of their personnel contacting me to check that I indeed wrote the letter and inquiring to know how I wanted it signed), and whereas I do not want anyone showing up for an event that that the Roanoke Times mentioned on two separate pages in Monday's paper, I hereby post my letter on this, my humble blog:

Despite the announcements on pages 1 and 6 of Monday's (August 3, 2009) Extra section, there will be no Franklin County Book Festival this weekend. That festival was held a year ago. The planning committee, of which I was a member, disbanded months ago. It's old news. Why did the Roanoke Times wait so long to announce it?

During the past few weeks, the Times has "recycled" other news. A story that ran on page 7 of the July 31, 2009, Nation & World section was the same as the story that ran on page 6 of the previous Tuesday's Extra section. The July 21, 2009, front page of the Sports section was--in many papers, but not all--the same as the previous day's.

I have been a Roanoke Times reader for over a half-century. In recent years, I've seen the pages become smaller and fewer while the price increased. It's bad enough to have less news (and bigger pictures) than in the past, but recycled news is a bit much.

Or a bit less, as the case may be.

I wrote and submitted this letter before the Roanoke Times latest error, using the same picture for two separate obituaries.

Granted the RT did print corrections to the above mistakes, but those corrections were hidden in a corner at the bottom of page 2. Shouldn't RT print a correction in the section where the errors originally occurred—where people affected by the errors would be most likely to look? And maybe the word "Corrections" should be in red print?

Since I've been an RT reader for several decades, I remember back in the day when it was a respected newspaper.

But so many errors in so short a time don't speak well for the RT's current reputation.
~

4 Comments:

Blogger Stephanie Faris said...

Ahhh, a question for the ages. I've seen many complain about this. Imagine having something false printed on the front page, then having the correction run way deep in the back of the newspaper somewhere.

4:42 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

Those mistakes are a disgrace. They should be ashamed.

10:28 PM  
Blogger TLH said...

I have noticed similar problems when reading the RT, and I have never had a pleasant experience with a single member of their staff.

With the insane requirements they have when hiring, you would think that they would have a higher quality of staff.

I'm beginning to think that they do things like that and hope no one will notice. I'm glad you sent this to them, even if they were too chicken to print it!

~Tara

1:02 AM  
Blogger CountryDew said...

It makes me sad to see the paper's lower standards. I've been reading it for 40 years. It's definitely been better.

8:18 AM  

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