Our dirt bikes bring all the boys to the yard. Damn right, they're better than yours.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

IF you just wish hard enough, on a burning pile of AIDS...

Yes, well. It's been two weeks and a half since my last confession.
Father, I must admit, I did indeed spell the names of the deceased and her mother incorrectly. And yes, it did go to print in My Daily Newspaper. And the family's pain may have multiplied because of my foolishness.
But am I to be fired for this crime? Am I to be let loose, after 18 months of tireless Saturday work, or treated like a criminal?

Listen up, you young pups. I've been working at newspapers for 10 years this year. I don't fuck up out of the blue. And I will not become part of a managing editor's plan to "clean up" his newsroom by firing everyone who makes more than $27,000 a year. Not that I make anything near that...

That's basically the situation, though. Last week, I fucked up the name of one of the young girls who died in a severe all-terrain vehicle accident out here, and the name of the other girl's mother, in a story about the funeral of one of the girls. The media was asked to stay away, so we went anyway. It was one of the saddest funerals I've ever been to. The piece I wrote... let me find it. "Hundreds mourn 'brightest light'". Search it in infomart. My lede has been replaced by a tacked-in correction. So my fuck-up is permanent. But it doesn't mention that that article is the first time that someone spelled the name of the other dead girl correctly. Nor does it mention that I went to the scene of the accident, completely out of the way, to see if there was anything there for my story. There was. It's called "atmosphere." The Daily Newspaper don't usually concern itself with it. The copy editor read my little bit of "atmosphere," labeled it "the birds chirping part" and cut it out immediately. I don't think it mentioned birds.

Copy editors at that newspaper are a little bit of a misnomer. They obviously don't edit copy, since they had my story at least four hours before deadline. They couldn't note that the name of that girl was spelled wrong, even though the newspaper had been entirely FILLED with news about that accident fat he past week, with up to 4 pages of coverage at times. Something slipped there. I know it should have been spelled right in the first place, but they're supposed to be able to catch things like that. And the mother's name was just wrong. My fault. No question.

But is this a firing offence? Should I be removed?

And, within the bigger picture, bigger questions:
Do I even LIKE writing for newspapers? Not really. Not for news, anyway.
Do I want a career likely to kill me of a heart attack and leave me divorced, or better yet, unmarried? Not really.
Do I like using the internet at the library? I don't know. It might be worth it to get the internet at home, since these punk kids think it's damn funny to shoot a kid beside me in the face with an elastic.

I need a job, too. If anyone sees anything nice, let me know, too. I'm not picky. Just unemployed.


Anonymous collin said...

This fuck up of which you speak... was it of the sort that would have been prevented had her parents not been "clever" whilst naming the doomed child? Like Braylynne or something? The variations are becoming retarded.
I guess the question is whether you feel stuck doing newspaper writing because you A) can do it, and B) can do it without much effort.
I'm not judging. A and B are the reasons I studied political science and then took up sportswriting.
There does come a time when you look at what you've got, a skillset for instance, and say, well this is it from here on in.
I don't think I'm there yet -- hope not anyway. It's sort of the same reason some people think that they HAVE to be an editor-in-chief after a section ed, know what I mean?

9:14 PM

Blogger enthrall said...

Hm. HUGE warning signs from the profession that I am meandering towards... "Here there be Draygons"

But then I remember: I get PAID for WORDS. Words are easy.

I've had to deal with shit in every job I've had. I never thought writing would be any different, and there are some uber-awesome compensations.

10:06 AM

Blogger Superdude said...

I just found out that this person who tried to fire me once spelled his own name "Cark Floming."

6:48 PM

Anonymous collin said...

I just did a funeral piece after our news guys fucked up the order of the wives in the original notice. Frosty!
For the record, ny managing editor thought my name was Collin Grant for the first six months I worked here, and had listed it on the website as such after he asked my in the interview ifr I was related to lenny Gallant.
--Collin Gallant

11:07 PM


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