Posted in personal
March 26, 2010

Sloppy Writing: E! Online.

I spend much of my day reading entertainment sites. When I’m not facebooking or procrastinating trying out a new recipe, I’m looking for the latest news (and sometimes gossip).

Admittedly, I’ve become dissatisfied with the quality level. As is true across the board in journalism, most sites want to get stories up before someone else, so they don’t particularly take the time to edit them thoroughly. Typos are common, as are grammatical errors, and well as some factual errors.

Today, I was browsing past E!Online. They have a number of bloggers who tend to make a number of errors with every post, but one story just made me laugh. Not only were they being ridiculous in trying to be clever, but they flat out attributed information that wasn’t in their source! It’s a piece on Emma Watson doing a production of Chekhov’s Three Sisters at Brown.

Just in case they edit it, here’s the part I objected to:

As if the transition from a special effects-driven set to a stage weren’t enough, the starlet, one of the highest-paid actresses in the world, didn’t accept a dime for the gig, according to the U.K. Sun. Even admission to the shows was free, but only staff and students were allowed.

First, it’s just The Sun. They are in UK, but unlike the US where we have a myriad of publications for every major metropolitan area and at least two Suns I can think of off the top of my head, it’s just The Sun.

Second, they say that according to the Sun, Emma Watson didn’t accept a dime for the job. If you click through, you’ll see that there’s no mention of that in the story. They mention how much she’s been paid in films, and that admission to the shows were free- but nothing about her not accepting money. Why? Because everyone understands that student productions aren’t paying jobs. Except, apparently the blogger at E!

Strangely, they left out the most interesting part about the story- which was that usually productions are open to anyone, but because of Emma’s celebrity they limited it to students and staff.

So here’s some good advice to bloggers out there- if you’re going to attribute something to a source, make sure that what you’ve said is actually in the article.

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