Public editor

Error only in some copies — correct or not?

Updated: 2013-10-09T01:31:11Z

By Derek Donovan

The Kansas City Star

In print newspaper publishing, the sports section almost always has at least one major revision through the evening as scores roll in for games that end after the first papers roll off the presses. That’s especially noticeable when one of the local teams is playing a late game, and even more so when it’s on the west coast. Sometimes only a relatively small number of copies will get the final scores —if they’re available at all before the final final cutoff.

This type of rolling revision is also possible with other sections, of course. And one such case happened Friday night with the appreciation of Kansas City Lyric Opera founder Russell Patterson that appeared in print Saturday.

An early version of the story had two first names wrong. The errors were caught when a family member saw the online version and called in to the newsroom.

The fix was made after some copied had already been printed, though most papers were right. Do you still run a correction?

Here I say yes, and The Star’s managing editor agreed. Tomorrow, a note on A2 will note that in some editions, there were two mistakes. Better to over-correct than under-.

To reach Derek Donovan, call 816-234-4487 weekday mornings or send email to Follow him at

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