At the NYT, to arrow is human, to correct takes time | Bleader

At the NYT, to arrow is human, to correct takes time

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No runs, no hits, no arrows
  • Tom Cruze/Sun-Times
  • No runs, no hits, no arrows
Would you rather hunt buffalo with arrows or errors?

The New York Times seems to believe in the latter approach. The paper's lead story in the National section yesterday concerned the challenges American Indians have been facing as they migrate from reservations to metropolitan areas. The closing paragraph quoted Bill Ziegler, president and CEO of an American Indian housing project in Minneapolis.

"When we're talking about change, we're not hunting vampires—there's no silver bullet," Mr. Ziegler said. "It's like the Lakota hunters bringing down a buffalo. It wasn't one shot. It was a series of errors that led to success. And it's going to take a series of errors to bring down the beast."

I e-mailed the Times yesterday morning, saying it might have erred on "errors" in quoting Ziegler. A few minutes later, I was able to reach Ziegler himself via e-mail. "I was misquoted, I said arrows," he told me.

I suggested he ask the paper to correct the arrow—er, error. I told him I'd already sent a message to the Times, but said the slip would undoubtedly get fixed quicker if he himself pointed it out. He thanked me, adding that he was "new to the whole media thing."

This was at around 11 in the morning. Ten hours later, there'd still been no correction online. Ziegler told me last evening that he'd e-mailed the writer and didn't know what else to do.

As of this writing, he's still quoted about bringing down buffalo with a series of errors.

Maybe the Times is waiting until no one's reading the story anymore to acknowledge its miscue. (The article first appeared online on Saturday.) Or maybe the paper thinks it knows better than Ziegler what he said. It looks as if it'll take a series of arrows to bring down this beast, so here's another one.

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