Errors, errors…I

Posted: May 14, 2009 in Pune
Tags: ,

Yesterday, tabloid Pune Mirror poked fun at a school which had put up a signboard that contained some big goof-ups like the word ‘congratulations’ being spelt as Congrations’ and other such slips. That’s pretty awful, considering the fact that the school is an ‘English Medium School’.
What PM should have done before publishing the picture is taken into account their own crappy editing. After reading a couple of badly edited reports in that issue, I shot off a missive to the editor. I wasn’t expecting a response, but was pleasantly surprised to receive an apology from the gentleman. That’s saying a lot, especially nowadays when a lot of newspapers and their editors tend to take their readers for granted.
Among the newspapers I get every morning – and that includes the Times of India, DNA, Sakal Times, HT and the Indian Express – the editing in Pune Mirror is by far the worst I have read in a long time. It’s unfortunate, because sometimes they do decent stories but the effect is nullified by the shoddy editing.
I spent over 20 years in journalism and also ran the news desk at two newspapers. So I understand perfectly well the pulls and pressures of bringing out a newspaper. I also understand how difficult it can be to edit and rewrite copies of reporters whose command over the language is abysmal. A lot of reporters think in the vernacular and write that way too. That is fine if you have a strong desk, but when your desk is weak then you have a Pune Mirror-like situation.
During my early days at the Maharashtra Herald, we let some pretty horrendous mistakes slip through, and I’m not proud of it. But we promptly apologized to the reader and did our best to set things right. At the MH we even used to joke that if we started apologizing for every mistake we made, we would have to start an extra page to print the apologies!
Unfortunately, today not too many newspaper managements are bothered about the mistakes that occur and believe that as long as they make money everything else is secondary. More later….

  1. Prashant says:

    On line No. 10 the spelling of receive is wrong. That is what I want to comment on your post. It is easy to criticize…..

  2. Mohan says:

    Thanks Prashant.The point is, I don’t sell my blog to anyone and don’t force anyone to read it either. So if I make a mistake it really doesn’t matter that much – even if I am pointing out someone else’s mistake. But when a newspaper, read by people of all ages does that, it stinks. Moreover, I wasn’t quibbling over a spelling or grammatical error. I read the Pune Mirror everyday and see numerous grammatical errors. Sometimes, I wonder whether there is anyone in charge at all of the News Desk.

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