In this business, mistakes happen.
The problem with not catching them before they go to press: they forever go down in history as fact. The larger problem with running a weekly paper: the mistake stares you in the face for a week, and readers have plenty of time to see it more than once.
In the news industry, editors often find the need to make clarifications and corrections. Editors of a daily publication have an advantage - in less than 24 hours they can work up a correction and present it to readers.
In the last few weeks the Reporter has hit news racks with a few mistakes I must apologize for - at the same time, I realize in writing this, I may be calling attention to mistakes some of you missed.
More important than admitting I was wrong - apologies are due.
First, in the heat of election season, a candidate who will soon be sworn in as Somervell County Constable, Pct. 2, ran an advertising campaign announcing his bid for office. In two editions of the Reporter, you were encourage to support Graig Dodson.
Luckily, CRAIG was the only Dodson on the ballot. And he was very understanding when he pointed out the error.
I, on the other hand, was a little red-faced.
Another recent error - I am by no means claiming these were the only mistakes in the last few weeks - appeared in last week's edition.
In a caption below of a photo of Glen Rose Medical Center Manager of the Year Josh Pendergraft said he was pictured with the hospital's CEO Ray Beavers.
Yes, I do realized Mr. Ray Reynolds is the chief executive at GRMC, I had the chance to visit with him recently. He is a very nice - and very - busy man.
Mr. Beavers - also a good guy and also busy, I would imagine - is the CEO of United Cooperative Services.
Yes, a CEO by another man's name is still a CEO, but he is not himself.
My apologies to both Rays, and the readers who were no doubt scratching their heads at the error.
And I understand they are not to be take lightly.
One hundred years from now, someone may be thumbing through the bound volumes of the Reporter, digging up history on the community when they learn there were two constable candidates this year - Graig and Alan Thompson.
And someone looking to learn what was going on at the local hospital might come across CEO Beavers.
I have to remain optimistic and tell myself a couple of things - mistakes happen and maybe our descendants will instead stumble upon this column and laugh with me (or at me).
More than anything, I hope these men know that I realize what it takes to build a name for yourself.
And, yes, I am a little embarrassed (hence the red face).
Living in the shadow of recent errors reminded me of a somewhat humorous incident I witnessed in the first year of my journalism career.
I worked at another weekly newspaper where the sheriff ran a regular column, sharing safety tips with readers.
One week, following an incident with an elderly couple, he advised local residents to - 'avoid hitchhikers.'
This was in the day of the old fax machine that used rolls of thermal paper. The sheriff faxed over his column - he is a great guy but still doesn't know how to use email. An eager clerk - new at her job - grabbed the fax and decided she would scan it (rather than retype it) to save time.
I have to insert a fact here: I was not the clerk, I was a writer.
That Thursday, after the newspaper was delivered, the sheriff called. 'What the heck is a…,' he exclaimed.
The scanner apparently had a hard time recognizing the first "h" in hitchhiker throughout the column. The "h" instead appeared as a "b."
"Is that a female dog needing a ride?" the sheriff questioned (while laughing hysterically).
He said he had received a dozen calls asking what he was trying to say and explained he was speaking of vagrants in need of a ride and not female dogs.
Needless to say, the newspaper got a new scanner, and just like this one, that editor swore to check and double check from that point forward.