Sunday, May 28, 2006

NY Times online: rush to publish leaves Heat burned

The NY Times' Liz Robbins, in an article posted late last night on Saturday's Pistons-Heat playoff game, error in bold:
[Guard Dwyane] Wade scored 10 of his game-high 35 points in the final quarter, lifting the Miami Heat past its only patch of trouble from the Pistons and on to a 98-83 victory in Game 3 of the N.B.A. Eastern Conference finals on Saturday night. Detroit leads the series, 2-1.
Miami leads, not Detroit. The error was fixed after a few hours.

Online articles tend to have more errors than their printed counterparts, but Nytimes.com is rife with them these days. They seem to rush certain articles to the website without a full copyedit to capture early readers, with the plan to revise them a few hours later.

This practice, by Nytimes.com and most other new sites, raises a few questions. I imagine that the correction to the article above won't be noted for the record, either online or in print. But what if the erroneous version shows up later in search engine caches? A formal correction sets the record straight, but if no recognition is given to an article's error, would a writer be correct in quoting the original text as normal Times reporting? What if the article's errors are fixed by the time it runs in print, but the mistake is left in the online version for months or years after it was published?

On a different note, the article also reports two new nicknames created by Shaquille O'Neal:

When O'Neal first arrived in Miami last season, he immediately gave Wade the nickname Flash, to complement a comic book nickname he gave himself, Superman.
I wonder if Al Pacino is miffed that Shaq's previous nickname for Wade has competition? From a recent New York Post article by Evan Grossman:
In the past, O'Neal played with three up-and-coming shooting guards, but never before has Shaq taken one under his wing quite like Wade. Shaq compared playing with a young Penny Hardaway in Orlando, a young Kobe Bryant with the Lakers and now a young Wade with the Heat.

"The difference between those three is the Godfather trilogy," O'Neal said in classic Shaq-speak. "One is Fredo, who was never ready for me to hand it over to him. One is Sonny, who will do whatever it takes to be the man, and one is Michael, who if you watch the trilogy, the Godfather hands it over to Michael. So I have no problem handing it over to Dwyane."

It doesn't take a brain surgeon to realize Shaq was comparing Kobe to the psychotic Sonny, and Penny with the weaker Fredo characters from that movie.
...
"I would love to see the ball in my hands, but I'm not the best player or the best shooter on this team," O'Neal said. "I don't mind handing it over to Michael Dwyane Corleone."

I wonder if the Times has received corrections from readers over Dwyane Wade's first name, which really is spelled that way, and must cause as much trouble as Andruw Jones and bell hooks put together.