Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Jounalism boo boos and negative backlash

My interview with Mark Pellegrino for Lost went up today on Sci Fi Wire, with exclusive splashed all over it and it made the top stories section. All good, except there was a typo in it that was significant enough to basically screw up the story.

Lost was set in 1977 and 2007 last season and while I was editing the article and wanting to make it clearer, I mistakenly typed 1977 as the date something significant happened. Since I've been covering Lost all season I was well aware about the dates, so it was just a typo... or let's call it was it really was... a brain fart.

Sadly, that one typo took away from the otherwise pretty good interview with Pellegrino (at least I think it was pretty good). Those with comments leaped on it like it was the only significant thing about the article, down to the snarky comment "Gotta love that crack fact checking at work again. You guys are supposed to actually like and watch these shows, right?"

Of course, as the author you just want to say "Lighten up, dudes!" I write 20-30 articles a month and, yes, sometimes there's a brain fart. The error was quickly corrected by my editors, although they used the strike out method, rather than the replace method. Which means it screws it up for Pellegrino's publicist when she wants to print it out. Of course, that's the editor's choice, although it seems to me we unusually use the replace method even if there are comments about a mistake.

It all means I'm in a nasty mood. I hate, hate, hate making mistakes like that. It ruins my day and make me feel like an idiot. It's not the first mistake I've made, and it won't be the last. But it was such a stupid little mistake to make since I do watch Lost and well aware of when things happen on the show. ARG!

Of course, the other annoyance is why those who comment are so often so negative in the first place. Why read a site you apparently hate? Having read other sites with plenty of negative comments lashed on postings, I know it's not just me or Sci Fi Wire. And I realize that people who lash out like this often do it because they simply aren't willing to take the time to come up with a creative or constructive thought.

Anyway, had to get that out of my system. At least I have another article to write about Pellegrino for Supernatural, and you can bet it won't have any dates in it at all.

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