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HomeMiscellanyMedia watch: Proofreading lapse leads to wrong Horgan obit headline

Media watch: Proofreading lapse leads to wrong Horgan obit headline


Bob Mackin 

(News 1130)

The news director for the Vancouver radio station that was a trailblazer in social media blames “doing too many things too quickly” for a lapse in proofreading that led to a major Jan. 11 mistake on its Twitter feed.

The Office of the Premier announced that Pat Horgan, Premier John Horgan’s 71-year-old brother, had died Jan. 6 after a battle with cancer.

News 1130 correctly Tweeted at 10:56 a.m. “@jjhorgan‘s brother passed away on Saturday. The premier’s office shared the sad news in a statement to the media.”

But it followed with an 11:10 a.m. Tweet showing a downcast photograph of the Premier under a headline that said “Premier @jjhorgan passes away.”

It was deleted and replaced with a correction, but not before many readers saw the original post and shared it.

The late Pat Horgan (Facebook)

“The digital desk was toggling back and forth between a few different platforms, including Twitter,” news director Treena Wood explained to theBreaker. “A cut-and-paste from our web story’s subject line that said ‘John Horgan’s brother has passed away’ was put into a Tweet, but when we replaced ‘John Horgan’ with @jjhorgan, the word ‘brother’ was also deleted by mistake.”

“News 1130 prides itself on getting it right before getting it first. In this case, we let our audience down and we unreservedly apologize.”

The statement from the Office of the Premier said Pat Horgan “will be deeply missed by his family and friends.”

His funeral is scheduled for Feb. 10 in Port McNeill. In lieu of flowers, donations are encouraged, in his memory, to the B.C. Cancer Agency.

During the 2017 provincial election, John Horgan, who survived bladder cancer a decade ago, took time-off from the campaign trail to be with Pat, who helped raise him after their father died when John was 18 months old. They were most-recently photographed together during the Christmas holidays, enjoying desserts.

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