George Edmonson


Wall Street Journal makes numerous, uncorrected mistakes on editorial pages

Few newspapers enjoy a reputation as solid as that of The Wall Street Journal, even after the consternation over ownership changing hands a few years ago. Its news reporting is solid, writing first-class, opinion pieces sharp and pointed. And, as Marilyn Monroe pointed out, there are all those tiny figures.

Lately, though, I’ve discovered numerous cracks in its editorial page fortress, which seems to be surrounded by a nearly impenetrable wall.

The cracks are errors on the opinion pages. I’m not talking about statements that might be open to interpretation or arguable viewpoints. No, I’m talking about things more basic. Like Kay Bailey Hutchinson.

That’s the way the surname of the Republican U.S. senator from Texas was spelled in a column last month about that state’s politics. It was still that way online when I checked the other day. And, as with other examples, I haven’t seen a correction in the print edition, either. Read more

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6 ways journalists can clean their copy, commit fewer errors

Recently, I became so upset by the number of easily avoidable mistakes I was encountering in respected online and print outlets that I got in touch with Poynter, eager to write something making clear the risk these organizations were taking by skimping on editing.

I know from experience, particularly as public editor for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution more than a decade ago, how disturbing such errors are to readers, leading them to believe no one’s paying attention or cares.

On the other hand, does Poynter’s audience want to read another jeremiad from a cranky old retired guy? Nope, Poynter’s Julie Moos told me. The institute’s readers are interested in solutions, not complaints. (Those are all my words. Julie was, of course, far more polite.)

Initially, I didn’t think I had any solutions. But the more I chewed on the issue, the more I thought I might have something to offer. Perhaps reporters could use a checklist, even as a refresher. Read more

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