Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Daily editing quiz

Today's editing quiz comes from the Fair 'n' Balanced Network:

Here's the lede, with a link to the story:

NEW YORK — Shoppers at Wal-Mart stores across America are loading carts with merchandise — maybe a flat-screen TV, a few DVDs and a six pack of beer — and strolling out without paying. Employees also are helping themselves to goods they haven't paid for.

Your questions:

1) Is the hed true?

2) If not, what would be a better figure to use?

3) Could anybody at Fox get a clue if they walked through a clue bar at closing time with $100 bills hanging out of their pockets?

Post answers in replies, pls.


Blogger The Ridger, FCD said...

1. No. (for one thing, employee theft isn't "shoplifting")

2. 1.41 billion

3. No chance.

6:47 PM, June 13, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Egads. Do they even READ this stuff?

Holly K.

11:07 PM, June 13, 2007  
Blogger Strayhorn said...

Haw, someone forgot the oldest rule: Read the farking article, then write the farking headline.

Wait, I'm assuming an actual editor put the page together. I wouldn't be surprised if a "web worker" did the hed because you can always hire someone right out of kollidge for $20k a year to sit at a terminal and drop random words into slots on a CMS.

Editors and journalists cost money. And you need money for other things, like stars - people like Dan Rather and Katie Couric, who help drive up ratings.

Wait, what?

2:12 PM, June 14, 2007  
Blogger Editoress said...

I'll take No.3, Fev.
And the answer is NO, of course not.

8:13 PM, June 14, 2007  
Blogger Doug Fisher said...

Not the snazziest AP lede, either.

Given that the emplolyee percentage is greater than the shoplifters', I might consider something like:

Employee theft at Wal-Mart, estimated by a consultant at more than $1.4 billion a year, outstrips even what the world's largest retailer could be losing to shoplifting.

Note, too, we get the consultant in the lede since it isn't the company itself that's saying it.

That might have helped get the headline right, too.

As for getting a clue, that's a four-letter word. They don't do those on Fox, do they?

10:03 PM, June 16, 2007  

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