If Only Newspapers Put As Much Effort Into Correcting Errors That Didn't Involve Captain Kirk & Captain Picard

from the trouble-with-tribbles dept

On the Media points us to a rather extensive and amusing correction from News.com.au concerning its mistake in suggesting Captain Kirk was in charge of Captain Picard's spaceship in Star Trek:
YESTERDAY, a news.com.au article incorrectly stated that the Star Trek starship USS Enterprise-E, otherwise known as model NNC-1701-E, was the successor to Captain Kirk's original USS Enterprise.

It has since been brought to our attention that the NNC-1701-E in fact came two models after Captain Kirk retired and was under the command of Captain Jean Luc Picard.

User "Your Mum's Lunch" led the charge of those who correctly pointed out that after losing the original Enterprise to the Klingons, Captain Kirk was given the Excelsior Class Enterprise-B as a stop-gap measure until the refit of the Enterprise-A was completed.

Kirk's last ship was the Ambassador Class Enterprise-C.

Enterprise-D and Enterprise-E were in fact, the first of the Galaxy Class models and were under the command of Captain Picard.
It goes on from there, noting additional concerns about "the incorrect use of the term 'hyperspace' in describing warp drive technology." Obviously, this is a very tongue-in-cheek mocking error correction (and, if you don't believe that, just check out the photo they included with the article), poking fun at people who take Star Trek just a bit too seriously.

Furthermore, not to jump on the Star Trek nitpick wagon here, but even the correction itself is in need of correction. Any Trekker worth their salt knows that the Enterprise's designation is "NCC-1701-E" and not "NNC-1701-E."

That said, however, what struck me is how rarely you see any sort of actual correction of this nature for important stuff that publications actually do get wrong. Usually, they just make the changes to the article, and maybe append a small note at the bottom about how "changes were made," but rarely do they explain the mistakes that were made, or publish a separate article explaining the errors. And that's why the original, error-filled stories often get more attention than the corrected versions.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Nov 9th, 2010 @ 11:34am

    Time to get my Geek on.

    Kirk "died" while visiting Enterprise-B during it's maiden voyage captained by John Harriman, Tasha Yar was on Enterprise C.

    Enterprise E was also not a galaxy class star ship, it's a Sovereign class.

    So even in the midst of the Kirk vs Picard debate, they can't get their facts strait.

    I don't blame them though, they have problems keeping reality strait, I wouldn't expect them to keep another universe strait.

     

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      ltlw0lf (profile), Nov 9th, 2010 @ 9:29pm

      Re: Time to get my Geek on.

      Kirk "died" while visiting Enterprise-B during it's maiden voyage captained by John Harriman, Tasha Yar was on Enterprise C.

      Heh, Chronno. I was thinking the same thing reading this. While the whole "Kirk died" part leads to an interesting paradox within Star Trek canon, they could have spent a few seconds on wikipedia checking their facts since there is no dispute that it happened during the maiden voyage of Enterprise-B. Of course, it wasn't just their retraction, but the fact that they used the comment from a user without verification...they said that user "Your Mum's Lunch" reported that Enterprise B was given to Kirk as a stopgap for Enterprise-A (after the original Enterprise was "lost to the Klingons".) Anyone who actually watched the third movie would know that the Enterprise was lost because Kirk blew it up in order to keep it out of the hands of the Klingons, and Kirk was given Enterprise-A at the end of the fourth movie...all of which is easily found in Wikipedia as well as on Memory Alpha and could easily be verified by news.com.au.

       

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    crade (profile), Nov 9th, 2010 @ 11:48am

    If only readers put as much effort into fact checking and complaining about errors in stories that didn't involve captain Kirk & captain Picard

     

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    Mike B, Nov 9th, 2010 @ 11:55am

    nerd check

    Also, while the Enterprise D was a galaxy class, it wasn't the FIRST Galaxy class. The first being -surprise- The USS Galaxy.

    Man I'm a nerd. Oh well, they still screwed up.

     

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    Trish, Nov 9th, 2010 @ 12:02pm

    hey!

    there's a google ad there for 'star trek apartments'; i know what i want when im rich!

     

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    James Kirk, Nov 9th, 2010 @ 12:15pm

    Lies!

    I never commanded the Entreprise C. However, Thanks to a tear in space-time, Tasha Yar briefly served aboard that vessel.

     

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    Comboman (profile), Nov 9th, 2010 @ 12:17pm

    It's a trap!

    Would anyone expect news.com.au (owned by News Corp who are also the owners of 20th Century Fox and its Star Wars franchise) to get a Star Trek article correct? Set phasers to stunned. ;-)

    On the other hand, it's nice to know that not all errors in Murdoch's Fox News empire are politically motivated.

     

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    slacker525600 (profile), Nov 9th, 2010 @ 12:22pm

    actually they just got trolled really hard,

    as noted above by other people their corrections were in fact massively flawed, but it is purely because the comments on the original article were more about screwing with the publication than fixing the errors.

    the correct info about star trek is here, http://www.reddit.com/r/scifi/comments/e0d13/newspaper_issues_star_trek_correction_makes_more/c149z1 r and other comments on that thread are relevant.

     

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    DL, Nov 9th, 2010 @ 12:25pm

    Think of the children!!!!

    This confusion of the Enterprise Capitan's will scar them for life! There should be a law!!! It must be Obama's fault these aren't being kept straight!!!

     

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    Mojo, Nov 9th, 2010 @ 12:27pm

    Actually, now that Spock Prime has time travelled and altered the timeline in his recent fight against the Romulans, we have literally NO idea how history has been altered and, therefore, which "facts" are right and wrong.

    For example, what are the pan-galactic/temporal repercussions of Vulcan no longer existing? How will THAT alter the timeline over the course of 200 years?

    Only time will tell...

     

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      R. Miles (profile), Nov 9th, 2010 @ 12:32pm

      Re:

      "Only time will tell..."
      Time traveling into the future, it is sad I report this statement is false, as the "sequel" goes back to close this hole so the errors, er, events mentioned above continue as normal.

      Wait... this just in.... Tasha lives.

      Screw this. I give up. Janeway just bitched me out for breaking the Prime Directive.

       

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      David (profile), Nov 9th, 2010 @ 12:37pm

      Re: (Mojo's post)

      Spock Prime, as you call him was not warring against the Romulans, but rather trying to save them... He was just too late!

       

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    Star Trek Nerd, Nov 9th, 2010 @ 12:32pm

    Wrong, wrong, wrong...

    This 'apology' was quite amusing. To continue the tongue-in-cheek-ness...

    *NCC*-1701-E came not two, but FIVE models later than Captain Kirk's ship. That's why it's called the Enterprise-E. As correctly pointed out above, the Enterprise-E was a Sovereign-class starship.

    The original ship was just the Enterprise. NCC-1701. "No bloody A, B, C *or* D." (- Montomgery Scott, Star Trek: TNG, Relics)

    The Constitution-class Enterprise-A (NCC-1701-A) was commissioned after the original Enterprise was destroyed by the Klingons in 2286, following the events of Star Trek III and Star Trek IV.

    The Excelsior-class Enterprise-B (NCC-1701-B) was commissioned in 2293 and captained by John Harriman. Kirk was only on her maiden voyage and was "killed" during the shakedown cruise. (Star Trek: Generations)

    The Ambassador-class Enterprise-C was never seen by Kirk. It was destroyed defending a Klingon outpost from a Romulan attack in 2344... almost sixty years after Kirk was presumed killed on the Enterprise-B.

    Sources: my own nerdity for all information and Wikipedia's Timeline of Star Trek for specific "future history" dates.

    Take that, News.Com.Au!

     

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    spencermatthewp, Nov 9th, 2010 @ 1:10pm

    "The Constitution-class Enterprise-A (NCC-1701-A) was commissioned after the original Enterprise was destroyed by the Klingons in 2286, following the events of Star Trek III and Star Trek IV."

    Holy cow, you can't even get the corrections to the correction correct.

    NCC-1701 was not destroyed by Klingons. NCC-1701 was set to self destruct by Kirk, Scotty, and Chekhov and exploded shortly after the Klingons borded her.

    You call yourself a nerd? You must now submit your membership card for destruction. You may re-apply for nerd-hood after you have served a 7-year sentence as a commoner.

     

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    Nick Coghlan (profile), Nov 9th, 2010 @ 1:55pm

    Follow-up interview with the author of that piece

    A friend pointed me towards an interesting Columbia Journalism Review follow-up interview with the author of that piece.

     

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    Blatant Coward (profile), Nov 9th, 2010 @ 2:36pm

    Ok so now not only are they doing articles mentioning the Starship Enterpirse, James T. Kirk, and Jean Luc Picard, but now they are getting into a flame war about it with their readers.

    Today is the day the line between journalists and bloggers disappeared de facto.

    So say we all.

     

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    mjb5406 (profile), Nov 9th, 2010 @ 2:42pm

    Actually...

    The NCC-1701 and NCC-1701-A were Kirk's ships.
    The NCC-1701-B was under the command of Captain John Harriman.
    The NCC-1701-C was under command of Capt. Rachel Garrett.
    The NCC-1701-D and NCC-1701-E were under Picard's command.

     

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      William Riker, Nov 10th, 2010 @ 3:35pm

      Re: Actually...

      Don't forget I was captain of the D for a while. As was Edward Jelaco for a pointless 2 hour episode known only for "there are four lights!"

       

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    Petros, Nov 9th, 2010 @ 3:14pm

    Waste of time.

    I visit news.com.au all teh time here in Aus. I wish they would put as musch effort into the rest of the site as they did that article.

    There tech section is a joke... and the editor has his head so far up Steve Jobs A$s you can see his skull every time Steve opens his mouth.

    The rest of the articles are pretty pathetic aswell... unfortunately so are all the other news sites in Australia!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2010 @ 3:42pm

    I heard you like trolls

    I heard you like trolls, so we put some trolls in your trolls so you can troll while you troll.

    seriosly, theres alot of trolling going on here.

     

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    trilobug, Nov 9th, 2010 @ 4:51pm

    Uhh, I believe the preferred nomenclature is Trekkie - errr...

    "Trekker." That was a joke right?

     

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      mjb5406 (profile), Nov 9th, 2010 @ 9:41pm

      Re: Uhh, I believe the preferred nomenclature is Trekkie - errr...

      True Trek fans take great offense at being called Trekkies... it's associated with things like Shatner's "Get a Life" speech to the Star Trek convention as seen on SNL. "Trekker" is the accepted, respectful, term.

      The concept has been going on for decades... it deserves respect!

       

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    RandomGuy (profile), Nov 9th, 2010 @ 6:10pm

    What do you expect from the Murdoch media?

    Formal recognition of (and a substantive apology for) the hatchet job they did (and continue to do) to objective journalism?

    If it comes from that network and it's not partisan, it's fluff.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2010 @ 6:17pm

    News.com.au "original" apology

    The Captain Jean Luc Picard middle finger pic on the correction from News.com.au page was not posted on the original correction page. Instead, this video of a song from William Shatner was embedded in the same place as that pic in their "apology", but the editors changed it because they thought the old axiom "a picture is worth a thousand words" and to make sure the point got across, was the better choice.

     

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    AW, Nov 9th, 2010 @ 11:49pm

    Oddly enough the USS Enterprise was a naval ship with an awesome battle record in the Pacific. At one point it faced the entire Japanese Navy as the only Carrier in the fleet, and that is really saying something as the Japanese Navy was no slouch Navy itself.

    Also the HMS Enterprise is a well storied vehicle as well. Not to mention the OV-101 Enterprise which paved the way for American shuttle traffic, which was actually name after the television show.

    Seriously Star Trek and Techdirt makes me happy.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2010 @ 2:12pm

    Just damn.

    You fuhx can't even help yourselves, can you?

    Anyhow,

    You KNOW Chewbacca would have killed Kirk on sight for his pelt.

    Picard would have been safe.

     

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