Regret the Error: How Media Mistakes Pollute the Press and Imperil Free Speech Paperback – Feb 1 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Blogger Silverman is a man obsessed with pointing out the mistakes of others, though he dreams of a world in which he didn't have to. If media outlets printed their own corrections more thoroughly, amending online content appropriately, embracing their mistakes wholeheartedly, he argues, he wouldn't have to collect and publicize them with such devotion. Having founded regrettheerror.com to tally inaccuracies and corrections in the press, Silverman has set out to chronicle and categorize these errors in his first book. The result is a winding journey through the most glaring, damaging and humorous typos, misprints, misidentifications, fuzzy numbers and obiticides in the history of journalism, from the accidental to the malicious. These chapters are chock-full of amusing historical anecdotes, including the story behind the incorrect headline Dewey Defeats Truman, the case of mistaken identity that galvanized Nobel to create his prestigious awards, and the oft-presumed dead but still living Abe Vigoda. Silverman injects plenty of humor, but mostly he is deeply concerned about the science of journalism, and at the heart of this romp is an argument for increased public participation in the news cycle. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"Silverman injects plenty of humor, but mostly he is deeply concerned about the science of journalism, and at the heart of this romp is an argument for increased public participation in the news cycle."--"Publishers Weekly""" "Mixing humorous corrections taken from large and small newspapers alike, Silverman gives historical context to the current problems...and then proposes solutions for busy newsrooms."--"Variety "See all Product Description
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Ho, ho, chuckle, but ... the book's appearance makes it come off like either a collection of humorous excerpts or yet another book that bashes the media for being liberal or conservative or whatever. But that's not what the book is.
In fact, this book is thoughtful and nuanced about the history and consequences and explanations of media error. If you pair it with The Vanishing Newspaper by Meyer, you have a real glimpse of the media, warts and all, that my generation sure could have used when we all had visions of Woodward and Bernstein dancing in our heads way back when.
Sure, reporters will find the book painful to read. They'll worry what their sources think, and sources may be too quick to chortle at the humanity of media production. Yet this paragraph from page 59 is an example of the author's mastery of the subject and leads to some conclusions that both reporters and sources can agree on:
"Working under deadlines causes errors, as do the technologies used by reporters every day; and the newspaper system whereby a story goes from a reporter to an editor and onward until it reaches the page-layout and printing stage is rife with weaknesses and opportunities for error. Yet any blame is laid solely at the feet of the person seen as being directly responsible - to the complete exclusion of the process that contributed to the error. Every stage in the production of a newspaper, broadcast, or other news product is designed with some controls to prevent error, and yet each of these stages also has the ability to introduce or even force errors..."
This book will improve anyone's understanding of how the media really works, or doesn't work, at times.