I have no doubt that editing in the news industry has greatly deteriorated in the past few years. For example, I always look at the top news on Yahoo!’s homepage. I don’t expect these articles to be ground-breaking, Pulitzer Prize-worthy stories, but I do expect them to uphold basic standards of good journalism: accuracy and good editing. Unfortunately, it seems that every day nowadays I click on a Yahoo! article and find my mind temporarily distracted from the actual story because there’s a typo so ridiculous it’s a wonder the writer or editor – if Yahoo! even has editors any anymore – didn’t notice it when I noticed it immediately. Nowadays I tend to pay more attention to the comments section on the article rather than the actual story, and often I realize that even if I didn’t notice a typo, it’s because someone else pointed it out in the comments earlier and the typo had been fixed by the time I got to the article.
Accuracy, however, is often just as much of an issue as typos. At least, it is when it comes to Yahoo! stories. Just the other day, I clicked on an article about Sarah Jessica Parker’s twin daughters going on an outing in the city on scooters. Repeatedly, the girls’ names were mentioned: Tabitha and Loretta. The problem? Loretta is the girl’s middle name. Her full name is Marion Loretta Elwell Broderick, yet every time she was mentioned in the article, she was called Loretta instead of Marion. I don’t expect the writer or editor to know the name of every celebrity’s child by heart – I certainly don’t know and don’t care enough to know – but how hard is it to do a basic Google search and then type the correct name?