If we can’t spell their names right . . .

As I was reading through some Tweets over the weekend, ostensibly in tribute to a journalism icon, I was reminded of the techno-Utopian exuberance that journalists no longer need editors in the stodgy old newsroom sense because the public serves as our editors. Well, online news-gatherers, meet a slice of your editing public and tell me what you think about these folks having a look at your copy:

walter kronkite croaked today. poor slob.

Walter Kronkite left a great legacy. Hopefully his death will open up new debate on role of news media. There is a long over due discussion.

Already annoyed about all this Walter kronkite nonsense. Who cares about him? I don’t.

Walter Kronkite died? Come on August. July has been a major suck.

now walter kronkite is dead. there are WAY TOO MANY celebs and icons dying lately.

jeez! people be droppin’ like flies lately! Walter Kronkite , i don’t really know who he was, but he’s dead!!! and p.s. its FRIGGIN HOT OUT!

dude! walter kronkite died!

Poor Walter Kronkite. The Shamwow guy is deffinately next.

Its the end of the world as we know it: Tiger doesnt make the cut, Walter Kronkite passes away.

who the hell is walter kronkite and why dont i know this stuff?

Woah woah woah, I go out for a 3 mile run and come back to find out Sir Walter Kronkite has passed away. Not cool.

OMGEEZY just saw about walter kronkite. ohnoes!

now walter kronkite? what the hell’s going on? spring cleaning for famous people?

You will be missed Walter Kronkite! loved you in the animation tour at Disney!

There are plenty more like this, and to be fair, quite a few disparaging replies have hammered away at the misspelled last name and the nature of comments above. Such as:

I bet there is some dude out there who’s name is actually spelled Walter Kronkite, instead of Cronkite, and he’s really confused right now.

But the “Kronkite” Tweeters were undeterred. Why shouldn’t they be?

Apparently we’ve entered the age when copy editing is a choice. This thought dovetails nicely with the flip suggestion that these skills can be outsourced to Bangalore or folded into overworked universal desks without adverse consequences. It’s just another newsroom diaspora, caught up in the torrent of change.

Here’s a little newsflash to those who think that discovering, much less correcting, mistakes is relative: The readers we still have aren’t fooled by this jive.

Now that I’m operating without those institutional editing nets, please do me a favor, discerning readers: If you see something woefully out of place here, by all means call me on it. Because the dregs — and duuuuuudes! — of the Twitterati can’t be bothered.

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