You say commission, I say comouncil

I must say I am rather shocked by the still uncorrected inaccuracies contained in Joe Killian’s article about Friday’s black leadership rally on the steps leading to the building where ‘The Greensboro County Board of City Commissioners’ meet.

Just to set the record straight: The County of Guilford is governed by a Board of Commissioners chaired by Commissioner Carolyn Coleman, the city of Greensboro is governed by a City Council, of which Yvonne Johnson is certainly a member, however Yvonne is not a “fellow” anything to Coleman except for the fact that they are both black and concerned about many of the same issues.

God forbid the Council and Commissioners should ever actually meet in a joint session.  If that ever happens, the editors at the N&R would obviously fall all over themselves trying to get our elected official’s titles correct.

Update: Former N&R guy, Jerry Bledsoe, weighs in at Killian’s blog: “…readers have every right to be irritated by this sad display of ‘journalism’…”

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  1. Posted July 9, 2006 at 12:31 am | Permalink

    With all the hate mail, racist overtones and bigoted communications that Joe has been receiving here recently, is it really necessary to harp on the mistakes. Call the N&R and ask for a correction for God’s sake.

  2. dhoggard
    Posted July 9, 2006 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Is it “necessary” that I “harp on the mistakes”? No. But seeing as I normally play a good harp for the N&R when they get everything right, it would be hypocritical of me to ignore it when they get things so blatantly wrong.

    My criticism has nothing to do with Joe’s reporting of what occured – that part of the article was accurate and fair. But for any Greensboro reporter or editor not to know the difference between the Commission(ers) and the Council (members) is shameful.

    The correction in today’s paper only corrected one part of the article.

  3. Posted July 9, 2006 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    The N&R sux. Hogg….I rushed to your site this am to see about our own lil race relations gathering we had…no signs of it yet….

  4. dhoggard
    Posted July 9, 2006 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    It’s coming Ben, working on it as we speak.

  5. Posted July 9, 2006 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    “My criticism has nothing to do with Joe’s reporting of what occured – that part of the article was accurate and fair. But for any Greensboro reporter or editor not to know the difference between the Commission(ers) and the Council (members) is shameful.”

    Ok… point taken… and I completely understand. I feel the same way when people on our campus gets such simple concepts wrong (i.e. Calling our “House of Representatives” the “House of Organizations”).

    Joe’s article just seems to be getting a good bit of attention here lately.

  6. Posted July 9, 2006 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    At risk of being on-topic, Hogg is right. The misidentification of the County/City governing boards and their leadership is really an egregious N&R mistake. I’m sure, though, that JR didn’t sleep well over it and we’ll see a correction soon. I don’t know why it’s taking so long (unless it’s been done and I missed it). The N&R doesn’t “sux,” but it got this one mixed up. I’m hoping it was an editing mistake and even if it were a reporting error (no evidence of that), it should have been caught by editing. Shoulda woulda coulda. This one needs repair.

  7. Posted July 9, 2006 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    It’s strange since Joe usually doesn’t make those types of mistakes. Even in the linked blog post, it’s noted correctly. I’m wondering if the editing had anything to do with it. In any case, if you read the article carefully, Jerry jumped down Joe’s throat for an actual “quote”. The rest about Coleman and fellow councilwoman… well, I can’t help him there but the “quote” about Best was what it was.

  8. dhoggard
    Posted July 9, 2006 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Ben, the article I linked to remains as originally posted. And it is factually incorrect.

    I know the N&R’s normal MO is to post corrections in the following day’s print edition – but they botched that, too because they only corrected one aspect of the errors. At this point, the only proper thing to do is correct the online post and point out that it was edited for accuracy – just like bloggers are expected to do. Otherwise, the article will remain incorrect for eternity.

    But that would, I think, be a first. But welcomed, nonetheless – at least by me.

  9. Posted July 9, 2006 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Hopefully clarifications on this matter won’t go down the same road as the Hummel/Nagy fiasco — a reporter and editor who, when challeged about the accuracy of an article [Bloggers' exuberance declines considerably] shut down the conversation.

  10. Posted July 9, 2006 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Hopefully, indeed, Roch, but I can’t imagine the N&R shutting down conversation this time. Unlike the unfortunate Hummel/Nagy, now we know where most of the N&R staff live. (for the conspiracy theorists, that was (a) a joke and (b) no one does what I say anyway).

    When one of the N&R bloggers puts up a post related to this, (Allen’s on vacation but JR loves a text-based fight), I’m sure they’ll say “bring it on…” I hope it’s a little less falling-on-their swords like they did with the Dr. Grier letter (an historical egregious…) that was revealed, discussed and apologized for openly. A simple “why” and corrections as Hogg suggests above are all that are needed. But they’re needed.

  11. Posted July 9, 2006 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Hogg, the correction that ran in today’s paper was appropriate for the factual error that occurred in the print edition — the misidentification of the meeting at which Best was fired. Ms. Coleman was properly identified in the print edition — at least she was in the Greensboro City version that I’m sitting next to at the moment. Honestly, I didn’t read the story in the High Point edition that comes to my doorstep, but when I get home tonight I’ll take a look and see if it was OK there.

    Several of the mistakes that people are pointing out — misidentification of Coleman, the confusing quote, and identification of Yvonne Johnson as a “follow councilwoman” are in the online edition, which is also a bit longer than what appeared on paper. Full disclosure: I had absolutely nothing to do with the writing, editing or publishing of this story. But knowing how the newspaper works I’m guessing what happened is that an early version of the story got moved to the web and that the final edits made by the paper’s diligent copy editors — correcting several of these issues — do not appear online. It’s not uncommon and I know I’ve had it happen to me — not at the N&R but at another publication — where the newspaper publishing system grabbed an early version of a story for the web and put some stupid errors out there that were caught in editing and did not make the print edition.

    Why those mistakes have not been taken care of on the web site? I can’t give you an answer there, but my guess is because all this occurred in the weekend editions and there are less people around the building to take care of such things. But I wanted people to realize that what appeared in the print edition was different from the article that keeps getting linked.

  12. dhoggard
    Posted July 9, 2006 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Jonathan….

    I read the article online early yesterday morning and never read the print version until just now, and you are correct…. most of the online errors were fixed before my copy arrived at my doorstep.

    This morning’s paper did indeed run a correction about mis-identifying the meeting but left standing the part about Commissioner Coleman being “joined by fellow councilwoman Yvonne Johnson” which DOES appear in my copy of the paper.

    I suppose we will see a correction concerning that tomorrow.

  13. Posted July 9, 2006 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Alright guys and gals… I just do not understand why everyone is so worked up over a few mistakes that, at least the people here and in the local blogosphere, are now corrected and clarified on.

    It also seems to me that everybody just has a different version. Could someone tell me the usefulness in debating this when we all know what was meant to be said and when there are so many other, large, important things to worry about in the world? This all just seems so petty.

  14. Posted July 9, 2006 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    On the surface it may seem petty, Matt, but I depend on the N&R for news and I expect it to be factual, accurate, and correct. I criticized a blogger for making errors in facts and I hold the N&R to the same, or even higher, standard.

    That being said, I make mistakes all the time. I ask only for the opportunity to correct the mistakes and apologize for them. Once that is done, it is appropriate to move on.

    I think Joe and the N&R have done that.

    Time to move on.

  15. Posted July 10, 2006 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    “I think Joe and the N&R have done that.”

    Have they? Maybe I’ve missed it, but I haven’t seen an explaination for why Commissioner Coleman was quoted as saying, “This city has never had a black city manager until Mr. Best…” which now, strangely, appears online as “This (county) … has never had a black … manager until Mr. Best…” — a correction that implies that Commissioner Coleman misspoke (and an editor inserted “(county)” to correct her.)

    That’s what remains a mystery to me: Did Coleman misspeak or was she misquoted? Hoggard says she was misquoted (in comments), but the edited online version of the quote implies she misspoke.

  16. Posted July 10, 2006 at 3:48 pm | Permalink


    You’re absolutley right. I had no input into the corrections process as it took place over the weekend, but there was a printed correction. The online edition, I’m not sure about. The text itself varied from edition to edition and the online edition. I think it running over the weekend was the cause of the lag. But I own my mistakes. The N&R owns theirs. They get corrected and I’m certainly sorry it happened.

    Strangely, only one of the 16 calls I got mentioned “city council” and “board of commissioners” being transposed. The rest were all angry and racial in nature. It seems not a lot of people actually noticed the transposition.

One Trackback

  1. By David Boyd on July 9, 2006 at 9:21 am

    Wrong on LeBron…

    Hey, if you’re going to be wrong, may as well be wrong in spectacular fashion.