Contrasting headlines one day apart
Two of the oldest sayings in journalism--"Never apologize, never explain" and "If your mother says she loves you, verify it"--spring to mind with today's mea culpa edition of the Daily Hampshire Gazette, although they still exude the former after woefully violating the latter.
And since I'm citing journalistic cliches let me throw in, "Readers soon forget who got it first, but will long remember who got it wrong."
I'm referring to a front page article yesterday saying a car dealership "Appears to have closed" simply because they were not open on a Sunday, the (65-year-old) owner had not responded to a Facebook message request for an interview, an empty car lot, and non functioning website and phones.
Sure, a fair amount of circumstantial evidence but no direct corroboration from the owner, an employee or disgruntled customer, all of which would be fairly easy to acquire--especially if they waiting until Monday when the business opened up to start the workweek.
A few months back the Daily Hampshire Gazette failed to publish a morning edition because their $10 million dollar Italian four-color process printing press malfunctioned. How would they have liked it if the blogosphere jumped to the conclusion that they had apparently gone out of business?
Which--to be perfectly honest--was my initial reaction when I failed to find my Gazette aside the Springfield Republican early on a Tuesday morning.
I can excuse getting lazy over verification for a who cares kind of article appearing on the back pages which few folks bother to read; but the front page is sacred, demanding adherence to the fundamental rules of journalism.
Now if it had been one of those damn blogs...