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November 18, 2010 - 11:21am

The Daily's correction

posted by Howard B. Owens in politics, Chris Charvella, Jay Grasso.

Just for the record, the Batavia Daily News has issued a correction regarding an article published yesterday about the Chris Charvella case.

Yesterday, we did a post about a quote taken out of context, thinking it was significant enough to the case to bring attention to the matter. We're glad to see the Daily found the misunderstanding of the quote relevant enough to clarify it.

UPDATE: Managing Editor Mark Graczyk has written a blog post explaining the Daily's correction policy.

Scott Grefrath
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I am not sure if my comment belongs here or on the Genesee Justice article but “the Daily” needs to make a whole bunch of corrections. I just finished reading their article and then I read your article on last night’s Genesee Justice hearing. I am APPALED at the number of typographical errors made by the Daily on a daily basis! I read the daily and the Batavian on-line every weekday and on Saturdays I purchase the Daily (mainly for the store ads and coupons). I could spend hours counting the number of careless mistakes. Spell check is good but it CANNOT and should not replace careful proofreading. I will give just one good example of why the author should be embarrassed by his work: “Most citizens and officials who spoke Wednesday said they he didn’t fault anyone over the possible melding of Genesee Justice with probation.” …they he? I think this is clear evidence to support my theory that they only use spell check which would not catch a word unless it was misspelled. I am not a professional writer, but I did earn a BA in Communication and it seems I am more careful when I am texting than these folks who write for a living. I must mention however that my comment does not apply to Tom Rivers, his excellent writing is beginning to earn him awards. It is probably no coincidence that he is a fellow graduate of the same rigorous communication program at Roberts Wesleyan. Does this bother anyone else or am I just being anal?
Dave Olsen
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No, typos and poor grammar and bad spelling make me crazy, Scott. Unfortunately most people don't see it as a big deal. I do and am called judgmental (sometimes just plain mental) and fussy. I'm not either, well not fussy anyway, I just think if you're going to write something that's seen by the public, have enough respect for others to do it right. I read an article a while back about 2 guys who went on a cross-country tour correcting signs. Loved it, very funny too. I'll see if I can find it and post the link.
Dave Olsen
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Howard B. Owens
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Hey, you will never see _me_ throwing stones at anybody over typos and such. I'm sure I've given everybody a good chuckle a time or two. To my wife, however, it's not a laughing matter, let me tell you ... boy ... My excuse, such as it is, is A) while I consider myself a very good writer, I've always been a horrible proof reader. At my age, I don't expect that to change; B) So much of what we do at The Batavian is get things out the door as quickly as possible. I'm much more concerned about factual errors -- though, I've made those, too. As for a daily newspaper -- I participated in a project when I was at the paper in Ventura to make a movie called "The Daily Miracle." Putting out a daily newspaper is not easy, no matter what size. For a paper the size of the Ventura County Star, it was equivalent to publishing a novel every day. Even though the Daily has levels of editors to review items before they're published that we don't, I still say, cut them some slack on minor mistakes that don't change the meaning of the article. It's impossible to have an error-free daily newspaper. I can assure you every editor over there would love to put out an error-free paper everyday, but it's just not a realistic expectation.
Kyle Couchman
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LOL Howard, I have noticed a spelling or spell check typo here and there in The Batavian. But I agree that the error we were dealing with here was in content and facts, and I do think DN editorial staff was caught w their pants down, as I understand it stories are supposed to be check for accuracy arent they? I also thought you said there was no mention of the June 2 stuff in the papers from the State police that you looked at. So I am assuming from the correction posted that his source may have been Mr.Grasso gushing about what he told police. Either way I think thats what it was, it must have been because in my understanding if it WAS in the papers from the police they wouldnt have removed the item from the article.
Howard B. Owens
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Kyle, there is a comment I left on another post about my call to State Police. There is this possible supposition (that maybe eventually we can confirm or not): Jay Grass provided the printed quotes to the State Police. For whatever reason, the source of those quotes was not readily apparent/obvious to State Police. While that document was not officially released by State Police, the Daily did acquire it. The lack of clarity may have led to an assumption. In response to another comment earlier, I've mentioned the actual source could have been discovered through a Google search, but at this point that doesn't really matter. At least between what I've written and the Daily correcting the matter, the portion of the public that cares about this has a better handle on the available facts.
Billie Owens
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About typos, grammar, misspellings, etc. -- I cringe at these things. I am pretty careful with my stuff and the correspondents' but Howard's copious output is often edited after the fact. If you see a ghastly error in a headline or some other stupid mistake, I diligently correct them afterward, although I'm sure I miss some things. That's why you might read the same story an hour later and find it to be error free. But let me say that I, too, know firsthand that putting out a newspaper is like "writing history on the fly." The pressure of meeting dropdead deadlines is real and many things can happen from the beginning of that process until the end of it. Deadlines are cruel yet exhilarating. Believe me, The New York Times and similarly bloated big-city papers make ridiculous mistakes and they have a talent pool that is top-notch. It just goes with the territory.
Jennifer Keys
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Typos happen; however, if the same mistakes in grammar occur consistently they are not typos, but the result of the bastardization of English. As a former grammar teacher they drive me insane. Oh, yeah, "there's a sharpie for that!". :) Emoticon intended to denote humor.
Billie Owens
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Amen, Jennifer. That's true. And for those like us, it is ANNOYING. I think a lot of people just don't think it's a big deal (in terms of communicating) or they are oblivious. There are even people who have college degrees in English or communications or journalism who can't write a paragraph that is plain, clear, clean and correct. It just boggles my mind.

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