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WaPo’s Ombudsman Steps Up to Plate

Edwin Chen‘s beef with WaPo for butchering the name of his organization, Natural Resources Defense Council, in last Sunday’s newspaper was another example of just how slow the publication is to issue a correction and make a simple change. The error: National Resources Defense Council. Despite Chen, a former Bloomberg White House Correspondent, sending word to WaPo editors on Sunday morning, they weren’t able to address the issue of “National” Vs. “Natural” for another 48 hours when a correction appeared on A-2. What, it had to go up the chain of command? Executive Editor Steamed Marcus Brauchli has to approve the word change before it can happen?

The only thing WaPo can be commended on here is allowing their Ombudsman, Patrick Pexton, to bluntly critique the incident on Tuesday afternoon. Three cheers for Pexton. He wrote, “His mistake may seem minor in the grand scheme of things. But in the context of this town, it is almost unforgivable. The words are similar enough, sure — natural and national — but if you’ve spent any time in D.C., you know that the NRDC is about natural resources, not national resources.” He even got a former colleague to explain how abysmal WaPo‘s copy editing department is. Read the full slashing here.

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