Of Polls And Poles - A Website Oversight

By: Don Ward
By: Don Ward

We made a mistake on our website...and you pointed it out, and pointed it out and pointed it out. Here's why that's important.


On Sunday we ran a story on kktv.com about an alleged drunk driver who crashed a car into a power pole and then ran away.  Unfortunately the 11 News staffer who posted it made a mistake, we've all done it.    The headline said that the car smashed into poll...not pole.  That staffer, in their haste, typed it up wrong then posted it. 

Wow did you ever respond with comments about the story...well not about the story, about the headline, and the mistake.  You're right.  it was an error, it was wrong, it made us look bad, it put a ding in our credibility.  Some of you were really nasty about it....OK, we can take it.  Some of you laughed about it...that stings a little too.  Some of you just wanted to point it out so we'd fix it.  Thanks.

A lot of you put questions in your comments.  

Are we idiots? ...no.  Did we go to school?..yes.  Don't we know the difference between a poll and a pole?..yes.(though someone was kind enough to send us definitions for both.)  Doesn't anyone check their work before they post it?..yes. 

Spellcheck is clearly a must before any story goes up, but poll is a word too, so the mistake wasn't caught that way. We were wrong and we're sorry.  It took a while but when we noticed the error was corrected.  Anyone who checked back later in the day would have seen the change. They also would have seen all those comments....and that's my point. 

Our web channel, kktv.com is the only Southern Colorado news website that doesn't require anyone to register before they can leave a comment.  Short of obscenity, we approve any comment and send it on to the website, where again, you don't have to register to read it.  That means anyone can weigh in.  I'd be willing to wager that one or two or three of those negative comments came from employees at other news organizations.  I hope they enjoyed themselves.  We don't make them tell us who they are before they tell us what they think.

The mistake made us look bad for a little while, the comments about it make us look bad for a lot longer.  We're not happy about it, but that's the way it goes.  We published all of your comments and scathing criticisms of our mistake, and we always will. 

Look for that on the other websites....you won't find it on all of them.  On ours you will find more content, updated more often, in many cases before any others have it.  More than once we've seen a story we've broken show up on a competing website, almost word for word...and not one that was picked up by the Associated Press, and therefore became fair game. We've even seen an image from our site show up on another one. 

Before we post anything we check it out.  More than once we've seen other sites report traffic heard on police scanners as fact.  At least once the scenario reported on line was actually training!  It was not a crisis, it was not news.  You won't find that here.

So if you want the best source for local news on line in Southern Colorado, you've found it, and we admit it's not always perfect. It's instant, it's ever-changing and the site evolves every hour of every day.   If you want to tell us what you like and post it for everyone to read, go ahead.  If you want to tell us what you don't like, we welcome that too. 

We don't censor you when you censure us.

That would be a mistake.

We'll talk again soon.


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