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Searching for perfection

In the constant quest for perfection, I’m constantly plagued by disappointment.But I continue to strive for perfection.In journalism, perfection can be very illusive. On Tuesday, we had one of those stories that disappoints all of us. We got it wrong. In a deadline-driven profession, where reporters and editors are asked to handle a variety of duties every day, things will slip through the cracks and mistakes will be made. I never like to list all the reasons why mistakes happen because it’s not important. I’m not a big fan of excuses, but do believe that we have to get things right, and sometimes that means righting wrongs.When we make mistakes, we have to get them corrected.Tuesday’s story on tax revenues and those who reap the benefits provided readers with incorrect information. We should have gotten it right the first time. It’s our job to understand subjects before we put them in print. Sometimes we simply get it wrong and publish stories too quickly. This was a situation when things broke down on all fronts. The reporter got it wrong, the copy editors didn’t catch it and I allowed it to get published.It’s no excuse to say it was a complex and complicated issue. It’s our job to understand it, simplify it and present it correctly to our readers.The tax revenue story came from a county commissioner presentation by County Assessor Shannon Hurst. Unfortunately, we misinterpreted the information, and it wasn’t the fault of Ms. Hurst or the way she presented the information to commissioners.When things like this happen, we have to step back, regroup and piece the story together correctly – the way we should have done it the first time.In this, an election year, there are school districts that are looking at bond issues going to the voters. The information in the first story misled readers in thinking that huge amounts of money were flooding the school districts. That obviously isn’t the case, and we now have a better understanding of how the whole tax revenue issue works.We made a mistake and need to apologize. I wish I could tell you that we won’t ever make another mistake.It’s our job to be accurate and that will always be our goal everyday.When we have those days when we make mistakes, we will work hard to get the story corrected and move on.Thus is the life at a daily newspaper.


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