Have you noticed how many spelling mistakes there are in the Herald these days? James at Editing the Herald has:
I’ve had quite a few emails over the past few days with spelling or grammar errors from either the print edition or the website, peaking, of course, with the misspelling of ‘Barak’ Obama’s name in a political article on page A2 late last week – a mistake that is still on the website as of writing. The fact that such a blatant mistake could get past the journalist, his subeditor and whatever proof-readers theoretically work at the newspaper is quite depressing, even if it is ‘just a typo’.
Sure, everyone knows what John Armstrong means by ‘Barak Obama’ but, to me, that isn’t the point. If I want to read spelling mistakes, I’ll read a blog. Newspaper owners and editors keep saying that one of the things that sets newspapers apart from blogs is professionalism. Despite the urgings of some, I haven’t been doing any quantitative analysis of things going on in the Herald over the year, but anecdotally it seems to me that such errors have become considerably more frequent over the past year. To me, it is carelessness, and once you start getting careless about things like spelling then why not get careless about news?
I don’t think it’s carelessness, the journos at the Herald are professional and they work as hard as anyone. The problem is structural – APN made a conscious decision two years ago to shore up its profit margins by sacking its subs. The decline in quality we’re seeing now is the inevitable result.