Thursday, March 1, 2007

MBP of the Week: Daytona Beach News-Journal

Once again, the great game of basketball provides the backdrop for another “Misidentified Black Person” in the media.

Daytona Beach News-Journal sportswriter Ken Hornack (pictured) has a regular feature called “One on One.” It’s a brief Q&A with a player or coach. Two days ago, the headline read: “One on One with Terry Catledge, Magic small forward.”

Well, Terry Catledge hasn’t played for the Orlando Magic since 1993 (his last year in the NBA). Now check this out:

Hornack began the interview by saying, “Congratulations to you and your wife, Natosha, on the birth of your third daughter, Jordan, on Feb. 15. Has that had any effect so far on your sleep at night?”

Natosha isn’t Terry Catledge’s wife. Natosha is the wife of Orlando Magic guard Keyon Dooling.

Yesterday, the Daytona Beach News-Journal made all things clear by publishing this correction:

“The NBA Extra ‘One on One’ feature Tuesday should have reflected that Ken Hornack’s interview was with Keyon Dooling of the Orlando Magic, and not Terry Catledge as stated.”

Oopsie! Who screwed that up?

Don’t take it personally, Keyon. Happens all the time.

UPDATE (03/05/07): Yesterday, Ken Hornack graciously answered my email and explained how this mistake took place. He wrote:

“What happened was we had a dummy page format for my weekly Magic/NBA page. For reasons I can’t pinpoint, the dummy photo on file for that page was of Terry Catledge. And the person in charge of that page -- again, for reasons that escape me -- failed to replace that photo with a photo of Keyon Dooling. (The same applies to the name listed on the dummy page.)

“Trust me, I was livid when I saw the error. But it was not a case of someone mistaking Catledge for Dooling or vice versa.”


Becky said...

I wonder if he actually talked to anyone or if this thing was fabricated. Or maybe he did a Q&A with very little detail and someone filled in the blanks. (He asked, "How's your wife?" and an editor added a name.) I wonder if the sports department has its own copy editors or if it's got a "universal desk."

No matter what happened, it's fantastically lazy reporting and editing.

Undercover Black Man said...

Becky: I don’t doubt that the reporter interviewed Keyon Dooling. The guy talks about his kids and all. The mystery is how Terry Catledge's name got dragged into it... especially since Catledge has been out of the league for 13 years.

Maybe I should drop an email on the reporter; maybe he'll explain it to me. Never hurts to ask.

Becky said...

It's hard to tell by looking at the paper's staff list, but I suspect the sports department doesn't have its own copy editors. Which means it doesn't have editors singularly committed to tracking teams, players, statistics, etc. Their bank of knowledge is watered down, especially if in the course of one night they're editing a sports Q&A, ad copy and an entertainment article.

That doesn't specifically answer how the wrong name got slapped on this article ... that's an explanation I'd love to hear. The frustrating part is that accuracy doesn't seem to be a high (or even medium or low) priority, when it really should be THE priority. I hope you hear back from the reporter.