Sunday's always a big corrections day in the NYT -- it's the day when the paper posts corrections in all its special Sunday sections. It's not unusual to find a dozen or more mistakes fixed on any given Sunday.
It may or may not be a record -- we don't have the energy to plow through more than 100 years of back issues -- but today's NYT corrections column is large as any we've been able to find in recent memory. And it's hard not to see the surge as a reflection of what happens to a newspaper that has lost more than 200 editorial employees to buyouts and layoffs in the last two years.
A whopping eight of today's corrections came from one piece, a Travel essay from T Magazine last November by freelance writer Maria Shollenbarger about Friesland, a Dutch province that has become a winter vacation destination. The NYT described it only as "a number" of errors, and explained that the correction was "delayed for research."
But one problem remains: when you go to the original article, the mistakes still stand uncorrected, and with no notation that a correction has been published. It's NYT procedure to fix its errors online, and to append a correction. Is the T Magazine -- with its swanky layouts that don't lend themselves to correction -- exempt from that policy?
(UPDATE: On Tuesday afternoon, we got an email from a T Magazine web producer telling us that the correction had at last been appended. "T is not exempt from the standard Times correction policy, the producer, Seth Carlson, told The NYTPicker. "In this case, the delay in appending the correction was a technical issue related to the recent redesign of the T website.")
It's worth noting that T: Travel has been prone to mistakes in the past. Last March, The NYTPicker noted eight separate corrections on one issue of the magazine. More recently, the magazine got into trouble for allowing a freelancer to promote her ex-boyfriend's burger restaurant in Miami -- a rule violation caught by The NYTPicker that earned an Editor's Note and a scolding from public editor Clark Hoyt.
Many of the other mistakes reflect sloppy reporting by NYT staffers that weren't caught by editors. Just a few examples:
Donald Trump is 63, not 62 -- a mistake made by metro reporter Alan Feuer.
The Four Seasons Restaurant is not affiliated with the Four Seasons Hotel, an editing error.
Whitestone is in Queens, not the Bronx, a mistake made by freelance contributor James Vescovi.
Today's NYT Magazine essay about "underwater mortgages" gets the identities wrong of those who incorrectly believe their mortgages will go up in value -- a mistake made by contributing writer Roger Lowenstein.
Comedian Jean Carroll was born on January 7, 1911, not January 6 (coincidentally -- or not -- Wikipedia makes the same error), and did not write for the soap opera "Our Gal Sunday." That was another Jean Carroll. Those mistakes were made by NYT obits writer Margalit Fox.
Other mistakes included an answer in last week's Education Life Pop Quiz, the spellings of various names, the gender of Cameron Barr (a man, not a woman), and several baseball statistics.
Today's correction column also marked the first mistake of 2010 for TV critic Alessandra Stanley, whose legendary carelessness culminated in a six-error correction last summer on her appraisal of Walter Cronkite's career.
In her Arts & Leisure column regarding men on television last week, Stanley incorrectly reported that the series "In Plain Sight" airs on TNT. It's a USA show.
Corrections are a fact of life in journalism -- in newspapers, on television, at websites -- and we don't usually make a habit of harping on the NYT's reporting of mistakes. A correction is an appropriate sign of contrition, and acknowledgement of human error.
But when the newspaper of record starts racking up this many corrections in a single day, maybe it's a sign that editors and reporters need to be a bit more vigilant in checking facts and copy before hitting the send key. Remember, 63-year-old Donald Trump will be watching you.