What's black and white and read all over?
Wednesday, March 01, 2017 6:07 PM
As a reporter, I’m very cognizant that my errors are right there for everyone to read. And believe me, I’ve made plenty of mistakes over my years of writing for this newspaper and for the O’Donnell newspaper.
I promise that we try to proofread every article and advertisement that appears in our paper, but sometimes the eyes trick the mind into thinking that something looks correct when, in fact, it isn’t.
I guess errors are just a hazard of reporting.
I just finished a book, “News of the World,” by Paulette Jiles. The book is set in 1870. The main character is an older man who makes his living by going town to town to read aloud from state, national and international newspapers.
This man would rent a large venue for an evening, charge a dime at the door and read articles about what was going on in the world. He would also answer questions about roads traveled, the best cafes in different towns, best stables – things a traveler would want to know.
And it seemed to be a pretty good living for that character.
Attending a newspaper reading was one of the few respectable live entertainments that married women could attend without losing their standing in the community.
This character would do his best to get a feel for each town he visited so that he wouldn’t read certain articles if he was afraid of starting a riot. This wasn’t that far from the Civil War years so he had to be careful about which papers he read from and which articles he read.
We all know about the bearer of bad news...sometimes the messenger gets shot!
I’m sure there are residents who won’t read the New York Times because of their editorial standing on world issues. Their neighbors may love the Wall Street Journal for exactly the same reason.
Each of us have our own likes and dislikes. And as my Mama always said, “It would be a boring world if we all shared the same opinions.”
But my goodness! This President really hates the media, doesn’t he?
Opinion writer and sports broadcaster Bernie Goldberg just wrote an editorial piece about President Trump’s battle with the media. It seems quite vicious now, the way reporters and the President feel about each other these days.
Luckily, we don’t cover any national political news at the Press-Reporter. We’ve got enough on our plate just dealing with the local politics and governmental meetings.
I don’t see the relationship between President Trump and the media getting any better, any time soon. I think that train has already left the station.
Maybe if the President only talked to small-town reporters he would have a better relationship with the media.
We’re nice people and the only secret agenda I have is how to balance life with a four-year-old granddaughter and a 92-year-old mother in failing health.
The biggest mistake I ever made in a newspaper was when I owned the O’Donnell Index-Press.
O’Donnell ISD employed a male teacher who was HIV positive. He became very sick and had to resign to be nearer his family.
One day I got a call from the local Catholic church telling me that this teacher had died. Then later the school secretary called to make sure that I had heard the news. And if I heard when the funeral was planned to let them know and vice versa.
The church secretary called me back and told me that they were waiting on the call from the funeral home, but they had a partial obituary if I wanted to print it since it was deadline time.
So I printed the services pending and the info I had been given.
I get a call the next week....from the teacher!! He hadn’t died!
None of us – me, the church nor the school – ever did figure out who had made all those phone calls about the not-deceased teacher.
Reports of his demise were greatly....exaggerated!
Regina Crutcher is a reporter for the Lamea Press-Reporter.