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Rachel Blakeman

All journalists, bloggers and traditional, make mistakes. What I find interesting however, is that bloggers generally do not have an editor reviewing their material before it goes live. As we all know, more than one set eyes helps to catch errors and mistakes. Often your own mistakes are the hardest to catch.

What I find interesting is that when an error like this makes the newspaper, the reporter, the section editor and then a copy editor all should have read the story. I know when I was a JG reporter, more than once a section editor or copy editors saved me a from a factual error since they had the institutional knowledge or just plain caught a mistake. While the reporter's name is on the byline, many people are involved with getting that story on the page.

Mike Dooley

Ms. Blakeman makes a very valid point. Writers, including me, have made mistakes since the days when scribes first put chisel to stone tablet. Fortunately the process, at least that of the print press, was set up so someone further down the assembly line would catch our errors and correct them before they embarrassed us and our employer.

Today that's changed dramatically.

With all the downsizing, reductions in force, buyouts, early retirements and the like, there simply aren't as many people doing the fact checking. And even when there are, they are frequently so new to the business and their environment that they have little of the institutional knowledge it takes to know South Wayne Avenue and East Wayne Street aren't the same.

What you wind up with as a result are stories about an at-large city councilman named Mitch Harper who didn't vote in the 2003 municipal primary election.

I'm not happy to say it, but I'm really starting to believe bloggers - at least the truly responsible ones who value their reputation for accuracy like those in more traditional media roles once did - are doing a better job of presenting a reliable account of the news.

There are still plenty of bloggers who don't fit that description, and plenty of questions to be answered about the observer/participant role of others, but if you gave me 50 cents today and said I could either buy a newspaper or enough electricity to power my PC long enough to read a few blogs I trust, I'm afraid I'd choose the latter.

But as Larry the Cable Guy would say, "Lord, I apologize..."

Kevin Knuth


This is interesting- the Voter info I have says you DID vote in the 2003 General election. It shows Dawn voting as well.

It shows both of you missing the primary.

Our system is ported from the State tapes- so, unless there was some sort of error in the porting- the Election Board shows you as voting in those elections.

Worth checking out!

Ed. note from Mitch Harper:

Kevin, the answer to that is easy. I'm surprised you aren't aware.

It was not a general election vote. It was a special election vote. The Metropolitan School District of Southwest Allen County had a referendum on increasing taxes in the school district that year.

You know - Southwest Allen County Schools. It serves Aboite Township ... the area that came into Fort Wayne on January 1, 2006.

You can refresh your memory here:

You might try asking your spouse to look this up tomorrow; she works in the Allen County Voter Registration office which maintains the voter records.

Michael Kerney

Oh, the trauma a phone call can save.

Unless you're going for a zinger, I guess.

Everett White

Mitch, your intellect is matched only by your wit. I find this post (and its comments) highly entertaining, in perfect concert with the essence of a good blog and blogger. Keep up the good work!

E. White

Kevin Knuth


I am aware of where my wife works, but thanks for reminding me.

And yes, the record there shows you voted in the 2003 General Election.

To find out about the Special Election question, you would have to go to the election board- they keep those records.

You can find them in Room 136 of the City County Building.

Ed. note from Mitch Harper:

Thanks, but I wasn't the one who needed to get accurate information before writing.

And one doesn't need to consult the Election Board. The idea that an Aboite resident would have voted in the City General Election of 2003 being an impossibility is something that would - or would be expected to be - within the working knowledge of a county party chairman or, for that matter, a reporter.

Kevin Knuth


I am curious- did you support the Schools by voting YES or did you vote against the children of Aboite?

Ed. note from Mitch Harper:

That is, indeed, a curious question for you given that you were seemingly unaware that a referendum of great importance to our students in Southwest Allen County Schools was even held in 2003.

I support the option of residents of a school corporation to be able to vote for additional funds to enhance the educational experience of their students. I believe that is a notion that has not always received support from Indiana legislators of your own party.

As for my particular vote cast by Australian ballot, I am sorry to disappoint you that I regard the secret ballot as one of the great treasures of our democracy.

I know that the new chair of the Indiana House Committee on Elections, State Rep. Matt Pierce (D-Bloomington) would, along with other Democrats, like to see Indiana go to voting entirely by mail.

Others, like myself, see a real danger in that because, among other questions raised, the long open period prior to Election Day when mail-in ballots could be cast would allow many party workers to "assist" voters in marking the ballot and, therefore, seriously erode the tradition of the secret ballot.

The introduction of the Australian ballot to the United States was a significant advance for American democracy. It is worth a vigorous defense.

tim zank

Kevin sez: "I am curious- did you support the Schools by voting YES or did you vote against the children of Aboite?"

Heh heh heh...What a spectacularly "snarky" way to phrase a question. Reminiscent of the classic "Do you still beat your wife" shtick.

Oh, you are a class act Mr. Knuth.

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