The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Just for the record: Business as usual at the Times

An aide-memoire, prompted by the arrival of the New York Times ombudsman, Daniel Okrent - and because it's too good a story not to have ready for reference when needed.

The Times ran an obituary of former dancer Katharine Sergava: the woman was not dead at the time (and lives yet, so far as I know).

(The Post piece, I note, bylines three hacks, and namechecks two more at the bottom of the page: better check facts six ways from Sunday if you're slagging off the competition!)

As a journalistic assignment, obits must be amongst the easier: I'm no expert, but I'd be looking for a minimum of three independent sources - obit-worthy folks usually have agents, lawyers and so forth out the wazoo. And - can hospitals give confirmation of death to hacks? Because that would cover a lot of cases...

[There's also the strange tale of Jewish funny (Not. By me.) man Jackie Mason and the Times critic: Mason's 2002 show was panned by Times critic Bruce Weber. Long story short: Mason asked the Times to put another critic to view his 2003 show; but Weber kept the gig, and panned Mason's show as he had done to its predecessor; now Weber's been moved sideways, and another critic's in his place.

What's up with that? Surprisingly, Google News hasn't picked up the piece in the NY Post - it's a Romanesko link.

Scarcely surprising that Okrent's contract is only for 18 months or so...]

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