Tampa Bay Times correction admits reporter 'not strong in the ways of the force'

The Tampa Bay Times, which is owned by Poynter, has offered up one of the better corrections of the year to date.

Reporter Shelley Rossetter went to Tampa Comic Con and misquoted the event moderator in regard to a Star Wars reference. The result was a wonderfully playful correction:

This story has been updated to reflect the following change: A Tampa Bay Times reporter not strong in the ways of the force (or Star Wars lore) quoted the event's moderator, Croix Provence, as asking: "Are you ready to find love in all the wrong places?" What Provence actually said was: "Are you ready to find love in Alderaan places?" She was referring to Princess Leia Organa's home world, which appeared briefly in the 1977 film. Regret the error, we do.

As I've written previously, any reporter who messes up a reference to "Star Wars," "Star Trek," comics or other stalwarts of geek culture is sure to hear about it. For a sampling of the kind of letter you can expect, have a look at this Guardian correction from 2009:

Yesterday’s rave review of the new Star Trek film referred to the “hateful Klingon Nero” (Take it to the bridge, page 9, Film & Music). Numerous readers got in touch to say how very wrong this was. Here is an excerpt from one of the emails that corrected us in a stern yet graceful way: “Dear Guardian-shaped people, Uber-bad-guy (and part time CD burner) Nero is not a Klingon, he is a Romulan. I’m not normally picky about this sort of thing (which is, as you can probably tell, a complete lie) but he is referred to as a Romulan about a dozen or more times in the film, aside from the obvious giveaways like the lack of speaking in Klingon, and the absence of lumps on his forehead. Hope that helps.” (Column editor’s note: apparently there are, disappointingly, no Klingons at all in this film. There is speculation that Romulan facility in time-travel is very useful not only to Romulans, but also to the sequel franchise … ).

Another favorite geek culture correction was published in 2005 by the Star-Ledger:

Attention, Star Trek fans: No more calls or e-mails, please! Captain Kirk did not often “cloak” the Starship Enterprise to make it invisible, as was erroneously reported in the “Biz Buzz” feature in yesterday’s Business section. In fact, the first known use of cloaking technology was by the Romulans in 2266, according to “The Star Trek Encyclopedia: A Reference Guide to the Future.” Kirk and Commander Spock were sent on a mission to steal a cloaking device from the Romulans in 2268 during the first Star Trek series. And Klingons used cloaking in the movie “Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.” This prompted theories of a Romulan-Klingon alliance, in which the Romulans may have traded their cloaking secrets for warp drive, reports An-swers.com. The Star-Ledger really, really regrets the error.

Hat tip @craigtimes.

  • Craig Silverman

    Craig Silverman (craig@craigsilverman.ca) is an award-winning journalist and the founder of Regret the Error, a blog that reports on media errors and corrections, and trends regarding accuracy and verification.


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