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Best of: Just the facts … no, these facts

This is the next entry in our “Best of” series, in which we venture deep into the vault to replay blog opinion and insight that has withstood the test of time. Today’s post hails from July 2008. We welcome your feedback.

By Leo Valiquette

In my years as a journalist I endured my fair share of embarrassing gaffes, both my own and those of my staff (which I was often on the hook to explain, apologize for and redress.)

Despite the emphasis on clean, factual and reliable content, the occasional mistake is made in the newspaper business. Nobody’s perfect and the strain of rushing to meet a deadline can easily lead one to skip out on taking the time to check the facts through a second time.

Of course, it’s difficult to feel all that sympathetic about the plight of harried reporters when it’s your good name that’s attached to the error. Maybe they called your CEO Rob when his name is Rod. Or said your flagship product is still in trials when it has been commercially available for six months. There are the little things that don’t matter so much, such as whether your company was founded in 1989 or 1990, or the big whammies that can land you in a lawsuit — like that defamatory off-the-cuff remark that was never intended to be on the record.

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