The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes
Tuesday, January 27, 2004
A flash or two of gold amongst the ombud dross
If the will and effectiveness of the media's effort to be accountable are to be judged by the ombud pieces (as rounded up by Romenesko each week), there's not much of either.
This week's crop include endless obsessing about getting names right  - and, from Daniel Okrent, the ombud most in the spotlight, post-Jayson Blair, an abject piece (of all of 240 words) on his misquoting a Times hack in an earlier piece.
Michael Getler at least puts his head above the parapet in a parenthetical comment on the Bush imminent threat controversy - in any otherwise uninspiring piece.
Some joy, though, in the Toronto Star in the form of anecdotage used to illustrate the fact that most stuff in quotation marks is not direct quotation.
Early this week, the Star recalled former U.S. vice-president Dan Quayle visited Nicaragua in 1990 after "telling reporters he was boning up on his Latin in order to talk to the locals."
And there's the tale of British hack Max Hastings and a supposed quote from Conrad Black (the Hollinger incubus) about his ability to drown kittens...
Quality control not always an aid to understanding - spell-checking the piece as I do (pause for ribaldry...) I find an instance of ombdud. My bequest to the (media) nation...
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