Errors undercut newspaper's efforts to keep credibility
By MIRIAM PEPPER -
Date: 08/07/99 22:00 - Originally Published
of times a day, editors hunt for photographs to illustrate
draws attention to a story and adds zip to the layout. Too
much gray type, goes the thinking, creates dull pages.
mean some of these photo searches become rushed efforts.
Rather than assign a photographer to take a new photo, editors
sometimes head to The Star library to find a previously
used photo. Occasionally, these searches result in errors.
If an editor fails to read an identification on a photo,
it's big trouble. It means the wrong person appears and
a correction must run to straighten out the confusion.
bloopers are especially appalling. The July 30 Preview section
included such a gaffe on Page 26. To illustrate a calendar
item about National Clown Week, an editor grabbed a clown
photo out of a file and didn't check the name.
clown was John Wayne Gacy, a Chicago serial killer of children.
To say that readers knew better is an understatement.
around the KC area, I'm sure, do not want to be associated
with this man, this animal, the killer of children," wrote
a reader in a fax.
a hoot," said a caller. "I told all the neighbors. I can't
believe you did this."
it. Even worse, the cutline read: "It's a rule. You MUST
celebrate Clown Week, starting Sunday at the City Market."
Wagner, City Market marketing and promotions director, fielded
one complaint. The caller wondered if the market provided
the wrong photo. It didn't. The mistake lies strictly within
readers sent e-mails saying The Star had a "sick
agenda," assuming editors purposely ran the killer's photo
on the "family fun" page.
wasn't intentional. It was human error. A special editor's
note ran the next day on Page 2 to correct the matter. It
ended by stating: "The Star regrets the inappropriate
use of this photo."
across any great stories or articles on clowns lately? Tell
me about it