If It’s Not Broke, Don’t Fix It, Or Else

A number of journalism outlets have discussed an error and subsequent correction which steamed from an article written by Washington Poststaffer Akeya Dickson. 

In her article Dickson refers to Public Enemy’s song “911 Is A Joke”. A copy editor unaware of the song and it’s discussion of the emergency telephone number, assumed 911 should have referred to the 9/11 terror attacks. The change in the article led to some confusion, and criticism of the reporter.

You can read about the fallout here. One of the things I find most interesting about this is as Dickson puts it, the disconnect between generations. She correctly states that the divide must be bridged, and that there’s a lot of work which must be done if we aim to have culturally sensitive reporting.

Also, what do you think of the Post’s policy of assigning collective blame for errors, which some say unfairly impacts those who don’t directly causes errors in the publication?