One of my all-time favorite editors, the late Ralph Looney of the Rocky Mountain News, used to say that he was never amazed when errors made it into the newspaper. He was amazed that the typical daily newspaper contains as few errors as it does.
This does not mean that errors are not serious business.
Heaven forbid. Nothing makes turns off dedicated readers more than seeing their daily newspaper mangle the facts in a story that is especially important to them. This is one reason the Borg here at GetReligion believes it is good to have Godbeat reporters with experience and training on this very, very complicated beat.
Then again, even the most veteran reporter can have a moment of brainlock or suffer one of those spells when one’s fingers move in familiar patterns that cannot be detected by a spell-check program. This happens to me all the time, as close readers of my blog posts know.
This brings us to an early nominee for the “best Godbeat correction of the year” award, which I just created. Please help me look for other nominees.
Here it is, torn from the pages of the Los Angeles Times:
Interfaith pilgrimage — An article in Saturday’s California section about an interfaith pilgrimage spelled the name of the mountain from which Moses is believed to have viewed the Promised Land as Mt. Nemo. The mountain is Mt. Nebo.
Now, as a major Pixar fan, I can totally understand how that typo snuck in. Can’t you?
The article in question, by religion-beat specialist Teresa Watanabe, was actually on my list of stories on last weekend’s major religion-news pages that I wanted to call to the attention of GetReligion readers. But, as often happens, I ran out of time and it was competing with other topics. But I do urge you to give it a look. Here is a sample, beginning with a reference to Mahmoud Abdel-Baset, director of religious affairs for the Islamic Center of Southern California in Los Angeles:
. . . (After) months of delicate preparation, he and 45 other Muslims, Christians and Jews left Los Angeles for an 11-day visit to Israel and Jordan in what they say is one of the first pilgrimages from Southern California to the Holy Land that includes all three Abrahamic faiths.
In promoting the trip, Abdel-Baset says, he challenged his community to “put your money where your mouth is” on issues of interfaith harmony and Islam’s inclusive embrace of Judaism and Christianity.
“It’s easy to talk,” he said, “but this trip is putting us to the test. We’re going to live together and visit each other’s holy places. This probably can’t happen anywhere else besides America.”