The Importance Of Proofreading

We’ve all made mistakes which probably could have been caught by a second look at our copy. Most people who work in broadcast newsrooms have never worked in a situation where someone has the official function of editor, who must clear the copy before it’s aired or shared.

There are smaller errors of grammar or spelling which often manage to make it to air or chyron.  And there are larger errors – errors in fact or in identifying a photo – that sometimes make it through to air.

Much is being said in print media discussion boards about the impact of cutting so many people who were editors; editors who were de facto proofreaders, who had the responsibility of catching errors before they wound up in print.

There are plenty of examples to point to in both broadcast and print news, but the one The Denver Post made a few days ago can serve as a cautionary tale about what happens when no one is taking a second look at what’s presented to the public as news.

Running a picture of Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia and identifying it as Coors Field in Denver is one of those unforced errors that will live for a long time.

The moral of the story: proofread your copy.

Posted by Tim Morrissey