John McIntyre, whom James Wolcott calls "the Dave Brubeck of the art and craft of copy editing," writes on language, editing, journalism, and other manifestations of human frailty. Comments welcome. Identifying his errors relieves him of the burden of omniscience. Write to, befriend at Facebook, or follow at Twitter: @johnemcintyre. Back 2009-2012 at the original site, and now at

Sunday, October 11, 2009

More ready, fire, aim

Paul Carr posts at TechCrunch about the hazards of rushing to publication with unverified information. A key passage:

I offered some lessons that professional blogs might want to carry over from old media. Stop allowing bloggers to post their own stories without passing them first through an editor. Don’t publish a story accusing a company of malpractice without first giving them a chance to deny it. That kind of thing.

The entire post, “WITN?: Yahoo didn’t sentence 200,000 Iranians to death, and other misadventures in online journalism,” is worth your time and attention.

Thank you, @GregMitch and @yelvington, for the alerting tweet.


  1. Ah, solid gold. Greatly enjoyed reading that... it made being stuck inside with a cold worth it.

  2. That one quoted point, out of context, is a good thing. The core of the argument - unverified information only serves to set you up for embarassment - is a good thing.

    That entire post, especially in the context of the unfortunate relationship between TechCrunch and CBS, is such juvenile playground gloating over catching CBS doing _exactly what TechCrunch did earlier in the year_ that I'm frankly surprised you linked to it, John.