The Star changes scores of stories throughout a day
If there is one thing we all hate as journalists it is silly mistakes.
Everyone makes them occassionally but it doesn’t make them any easier when it is in your story or on your page.
So let’s talk about spelling and typos - after all I have made it clear that we want your opinions good and bad.
And since, as your local newspaper, a large part of our role is to question others when they make mistakes it is about time we put ourselves in the spotlight.
Mr P Rhodes got in touch with this: “I like to read about local issues and local interest, but the subject that annoys me most is spelling mistakes and they seem to be getting worse. I thought computers had spellcheck.
“The Star had an article on a painted road sign that had been misspelt - I think it is a case of the pot calling the kettle black.”
To put it simply, any excuse we give you for printing mistakes in your newspaper would not and could not be good enough.
Believe me, journalists take it very personally when they spot errors too late to change them.
The Star is a newspaper which changes many times throughout the day before it reaches the printers.
Hundreds of stories are written, changed, added, pulled and tweaked six days a week in our York Street offices.
Every reporter has a spellchecker and they do use them but sometimes mistakes are not spotted.
And even with the best proof readers in the world typos and spelling errors do manage to find their way into print.
We have always had a focus on accuracy and continue to do so today.
But letters like the one from Mr Rhodes are a reminder that we can’t always get it right.
There is no other business like news - where the product is created from scratch every single morning.
Imagine any other manufacturing business where the ingredients change on a daily, hourly rate - and sometimes everything is thrown out at the very last minute as a new crucial element emerges.
It is a bit like making an enormous cake every day and starting out in the morning not knowing what ingredients are available to use.
Different stories break throughout the day for us to use - sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t.
There are tip-offs which can lead nowhere, last-minute stories which turn out to be potential front page splashes and great reporting which transforms a nothing into a brilliant article.
And each story gets checked not just for spelling, grammar and typos but also for accuracy.
So both our news and sports desk deal with a continual flow of information from the minute they walk in the office until the paper is finally put to bed late at night.
That’s the point, The Star as you see it will have changed shape several times throughout the previous day.
It is challenging but that is why we love it.
Reporters can start the working day knowing nothiing about a subject and within hours have enough information to be able to inform Sheffield residents about all they need to know.
There is no other job quite like it and we are truly sorry that mistakes do sometimes slip through the net.
It doesn’t mean we’ve taken our eye off the ball and our own errors annoy us even more than they frustrate you, our readers.
So please do keep bringing these issues to my attention and I will do my best to offer an explanation.
In the meantime, thanks to all those who have been in touch no matter what the subject.
And when it comes to errors we will always continue to try to minimise them as much as possible.
Don’t forget we want to share in your celebrations.
We are going to start printing more reader photos so get sending them in.
It could be a wedding, stag or hen party - decent images only of course though please!
Or a birthday, birth, graduation or anniversary.
If it means something to you it means something to The Star so email or pop them in the post to Nancy Fielder, The Star, York Street, Sheffield, S1 1PU.
Remember to include your own contact details.