Mr. Newspaper, You Let Me Down (But Thanks for Mentioning Me)

In the last post I mentioned all the exciting hubub about Typewriter taking off, and how I was (incorrectly) quoted and mentioned in The Observer (part of The Guardian).

Well originally I thought the article was for one of their little online only blogs, some sort of ‘hot thing of the day’ to fill up web space.

No. It was actually in print, in the hard copy of the weekly Observer distributed internationally.

While that’s very exciting and surprising, it kind of makes me sad. I’m a big fan of newspapers, and of course their future is a big mystery, one that isn’t looking too bright. Will they survive or will the speed and free access of blogs be their end? Blogs are criticized for being too subjective and lack the time and budget to do hard, investigative journalism.

Well, this time, the newspaper is the one that got it wrong. All the blogs that wrote about Typewriter and the history behind it got the quote attribution correct while the international newspaper, the one that’s supposed to have all the facts straight and checked, was wrong.

I know the piece was tiny and shoved on the back page, but in a time when newspapers future’s are on the line, they can’t afford to get it wrong. They need to be more detailed, more thourough, and more in-depth than ever before to differentiate themselves from the instant but shallow news source of blogs.

Typewriter Article

8 thoughts on “Mr. Newspaper, You Let Me Down (But Thanks for Mentioning Me)

  1. Judith Allen

    See, that the story’s actually based on real events is how you tell that it’s from a reputable British newspaper rather than one of the scummier ones.

    Fact checking is asking a LOT of today’s journalists here no matter what they’re writing for, apparently. Our press love to tear into TV for misrepresentation of events, but aren’t subject to the same standards themselves – so often go for the easiest way to get their word count.

  2. Joey Post author

    Haha, very true. And I’m totally not bashing The Guardian, it’s a great paper. And I’ve never heard of The Observer before this.

    The main thing I’m getting at is that it’s fine that there isn’t a team of fact checkers, but in this case it was so easy to get it right. He got the info from the Lifehacker write-up, and while their article was a little confusing with who said what, it was still all right there. One click more and it takes you to my other site, where I have the quote prominently displayed and attributed.

    It was just sloppy, and coming from a prominent newspaper I was let down.

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