Journalists hate admitting to their errors, but one of mine found in the current edition of weekly Variety is instructive in getting a glimpse of how the sausage gets made.
My latest column deals with the flood of online content, and whether it has matured to a new stage. In the piece, I inadvertently attributed a quote that Google TV was a "big mistake" to Google, when in fact it was the CEO of Logitech, which marketed the Revue set-top box that showcased the Google TV interface. The story has since been amended online — another wonderful thing about the Internet — but remains immortalized in print.
So how did that happen? Well, I actually wrote the bones of this particular column several weeks ago, before learning my colleague Marc Graser was developing a piece also devoted to that area. We decided to package the two, which meant tabling my draft for awhile.
But as evidence of how quickly things can change (something else I wrote about recently), some aspects of my original story had to be significantly rewritten because of shifting news events. For starters, I had talked about the plan to take the ABC soaps "One Life to Live" and "All My Children" online, before the company behind the strategy, Prospect Park, decided to scrub it.
So in crunching some early references and trying to tighten up the piece, I lost a key modifier — namely, a reference to Logitech as "the manufacturer behind Google TV" — and wound up indicating Google had made the statement instead.
Now, while I understand the indignation of Google's PR staff, Google TV has by almost any measure been a disappointment. Still, I do regret the error, as I do with pretty much anything inaccurate or misleading that finds its way into print.
If only there was some kind of search engine to allow you to quickly check out such things online….