I was raised to admit when I made a mistake. This week, I have to admit a whopper – something I haven’t done in 38 years in the newspaper business.
I probably didn’t have to admit my mistake in this manner, since the story, in the end, doesn’t really change anything or cause earth-shattering problems in the community.
I could have handled it the way I usually do when a mistake is made in your hometown newspaper, but in this case, it wouldn’t do justice.
When we do make a mistake, or if someone makes a mistake in information provided us, we run a correction in the next edition. If it is a mistake, which really affects an individual, organization, business, etc., the correction can be published on the front page.
Fortunately, that doesn’t happen too often, in fact, rarely.
The mistake I made, in my mind, rates higher than even a front page admittance.
What in the heck did I do, or write?
I’m pretty sure every member of the Rockport City Council is aware of it … or at least I hope they are (for many different reasons).
In the weekend edition the lead story was about the Rockport City Council’s action regarding scooters.
The story ran under the headline “Motor-assisted scooters banned from Rockport streets, sidewalks.”
Here’s the mistake.
The council took no action on that agenda item because they found, after the agenda was already posted, that the proposed ordinance banning the scooters in question was not needed because an ordinance already on the books prohibits the use of motor-assisted scooters on public streets, sidewalks, etc.
City Manager Kevin Carruth brought the “non-story” that I made the “lead story” to my attention as soon as the weekend edition was available electronically.
I know how it happened, but I won’t bore you with the reasons I overlooked what is usually very routine stuff in my workweek. It looks like I’m making excuses, and there is no excuse.
Bottom line is the city already bans the little motor-assisted scooters; there was no reason for a story about the council banning them, but I wrote one anyway.
I was going to write about 30 things Millennials are killing, such as canned tuna and football, but you’ll have to wait until next week for that informative piece!
I’m still licking my wounds from the non-story story I wrote!
Until next week, have a good week.
Mike Probst can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.