As you may have figured out, on-line errors, especially in grammar and spelling often send me over the edge. None of us are immune from mistakes. In our profession, however, credibility matters – and once a story is published on-line in any form of social media, that toothpaste is out of the tube. While never easy to read, I always learn something from readers and viewers who – rightfully so – call us out. Lisa did just that – and I like the title of her e-mail: “Diehard fan in spite of…” – She writes:
“I know in my heart that KBTX is a great station but the quality is steadily being degraded with every broadcast and web article. Simple things like checking spelling and paragraph cohesion are completely out the window.
Take the current web article for the College Station fugitive. It doesn't even make sense. ‘The College Station Police Department is currently searching FOR THE A subject who is wanted for Burglary of a Habitation (with intent to commit Assault) and Possession of a Controlled Substance related to an incident that occurred on November 27, 2013.’ I don't care if this came straight from the Police Department. Someone should have proofed it before posting it. This is just one of many instances that I could have written about but for some reason today it just really made me sad; KBTX is better than this!! I just know you are. Where is the chink in the chain that is making you weaker? “
Please bring quality back to the station. I know that you are winning awards but all I can surmise from that is that the rest of the industry is following the same downward spiral. You can be great with just a modicum of excellence in a pool of dross.
Thank you for all your hard work. I have always enjoyed talking with you whether in person or by email and I trust that you will take this in the manner in which it was intended. May God bless you this coming year."
Say what you will, but using words like “modicum” and “dross” comes from someone who knows what they are talking about – likely a fan of “It Pays to Enrich Your Word Power” from Reader’s Digest! Lisa is absolutely, positively right. We ARE better than this. Sadly? It won’t be the last time we make an error like this, though we pay closer attention now than ever before? Why? For precisely the reason she pointed out. We DON’T want to be like the rest of the industry. Our expectations ARE higher, and there is no shame in that. No one wants to lead anymore. Rest assured, however. We do. KBTX should, and you should always expect better from the station honored this past year as one of the state’s best – bringing home the Award of Overall Excellence from Texas AP. Errors like this on the website, and sometimes on-air, are reminders, we aren’t there yet. But we will continue on the path.
By the way – we share inside information with each other during this segment. What did I send to the news staff? Here it is: “We are becoming careless. We are NOT proofreading before posting. All we have is our credibility. Do not get irritated with this person. This partnership with the community is like family to many, and family expects and deserves better. I particularly like this person’s reference to the awards we’ve won. What kind of pace are you setting? Articles like this are not articles published by award-winning news stations. Coming from other people may help. These words are from a viewer e-mail, not mine.”
Be in touch anytime. Your opinion always matters – and makes us better. We thank you – from the family of KBTX News 3.