July 1, 1995 in City

Newspaper’s Mistake Hits Close To Home For Staffer

Vince Grippi Special To Opinion
 

For the first time, I knew how the upset callers felt.

As The Spokesman-Review’s graphics editor, I’ve fielded many complaints over the years when I, or someone on our staff, made a mistake that found its way into print.

When you called, I either had to apologize and admit the mistake - something I must confess I don’t do often enough - or give some explanation of why it wasn’t really our fault and your beef was with someone else. And, sorry, we were in no position to fix it.

Then came this year’s Hoopfest.

My son’s team, the MPH Bruins, practiced hard, created their own plays and prepared for the street 3-on3 tournament with a zest only four boys headed for the fifth grade can exhibit.

They took the court Saturday morning full of energy and left it five games later as champions. They were exhausted but jubilant. Sure, it was only one of 217 tournament brackets. But winning their bracket meant everything to them.

As we drove home my son planned who would receive copies of the paper’s - my paper’s - results. Both grandpas and grandmas. Aunts. Uncles.

Then came Monday’s paper. Two-hundred-seventeen brackets. Three were missing. One was his.

When I opened the paper and didn’t see their names, I was angry. So to everyone who has ever called me requesting that our paper “make it right” and I didn’t sympathize with you … well, now I understand. Looking into my son’s disappointed face made me understand.

Whatever the reason, this newspaper - my newspaper - had failed my son.

I spent my lunchtime Monday running down the results we didn’t have. Each person I talked with had an explanation. Each was plausible. Some mistakes were Hoopfest mistakes. Some were ours. We made it right by printing the missing results on Tuesday.

I’ve always thought that a newspaper should strive for perfection. I also know that a newspaper is made up of people and people make mistakes. But now I understand when we make errors, even ones that seem small, they affect your lives in a big way.

I hope that when we make a mistake, we can make it right for you. We owe you that. Every day.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo

MEMO: Your Turn is a feature of the Wednesday and Saturday Opinion page. To submit a column for consideration, call Rebecca Nappi/459-5496, or Doug Floyd/459-5466.

Your Turn is a feature of the Wednesday and Saturday Opinion page. To submit a column for consideration, call Rebecca Nappi/459-5496, or Doug Floyd/459-5466.


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