Public Editor

Kansas City Kings photo caption omission, but not error

The Kings played NBA basketball in Kansas City starting in 1972, achieving occasional success with players like Reggie King and Sam Lacey (battling Kareem Abdul-Jabbar). But a Sacramento, Calif., group bought the team in 1983 and moved it there in 1985.
The Kings played NBA basketball in Kansas City starting in 1972, achieving occasional success with players like Reggie King and Sam Lacey (battling Kareem Abdul-Jabbar). But a Sacramento, Calif., group bought the team in 1983 and moved it there in 1985.

I would be the first to argue that some omissions are errors in and of themselves. For example, I’ve written numerous corrections through the years when a list of winners of a scholarship has omitted a recipient’s name, for example. That’s incompleteness that means the whole list is inaccurate.

But sometimes an omission may be regrettable, but it doesn’t require a separate correction, especially in the print edition.

One such example came with this past Sunday’s special section of historic photos from Kansas City-related sports. One of the photos (No. 38 in the slideshow) showed two Kansas City Kings players, along with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, on the court.

The caption identified the Kings’ Sam Lacey. However, it didn’t also ID the other player in the frame: No. 51, Reggie King.

I found the original photo, and I think I know the reason for the omission. The writer of the original caption hadn’t identified King either — and it’s quite possible this frame is cropped from a larger photo that pictured other players as well.

It’s an everyday occurrence for photos to run with some but not all of the people in it named. That’s especially true in shots of team sports action.

An editor could have found an old Kings roster and figured out it was King, and in retrospect that probably should have happened.

But at the end of the day, there was nothing inaccurate about the caption as it was published, so it doesn’t demand a correction in the paper. The caption has been appended online, though, as it should be. There’s never a problem with adding extra correct information.

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