Sylvia Stead, the Globe and Mail’s Public Editor offers some cautionary advice on the most common causes of mistakes by journalists. Stead illustrates these mistakes and their consequences with by referring to recent errors in Globe and Mail stories. According to Stead,
…four root causes of mistakes cover pretty much every mistake. For journalists, it’s worth keeping these things in mind: 1. Stay focused. 2. Don’t hurry. 3. Never assume you know. 4. Check one last time – especially names, numbers and factual statements.
Good advice is advice that can be readily put into effect. And Stead’s advice provides a set of common sense rules that should be remembered by every writer. Regardless of how pressing the deadline, don’t become a casualty of one of these lapses.