In the newspaper business, you live and die with your credibility. “Typos” are not just to be avoided, they are to be dreaded. Even the misplacement of a single letter or a transposition can make a big difference.
Witness the Jan. 12 edition of the St. Petersburg Times.
Right there at the top of page two: “Hard-liners in Iraq Reject Candidates for Elections.”
Oops. Big news, big implications, big mistake. Those candidates rejected by hard-liners were actually in Iraq.
At first glance, however, it seemed to make sense. Then it was apparent. Another installment of Iran’s hard-liner-vs-moderate soap opera.
However, it could have been worse. It could have been on page one. Or it could have read: “Hard-liners in Iran Reject Candidates for Erections.”
On second thought, no one may have caught that one. Talk about a country with rigid controls.