Error, football and Boomers

Published 8:53 am Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Every now and then I use this space to play catch-up with numerous little things going on in the world of community journalism. This week is one of those occasions.

I hate it when I’m wrong. In my line of work, one where we deal with publishing the facts, we’re supposed to get it right, 100 percent of the time.

That wasn’t the case a few weeks back.

I reported on the Gates County Board of Commissioners approving the firm LS3P Associates to serve as the architect for the proposed new Gates County Public Library.

With the exception of one key item, everything in the story was correct. What I failed to accurately report was that a contract between county officials and the architect was waiting to be signed. Instead, I jumped the gun and reported the contract, at least the first of a two-stage deal, was signed.

I didn’t become aware of the mistake until a week after it was published. Three phone calls and two e-mails told me of the error of my ways. One revealed that I was…quote, “thrown under the bus” during a September 20 (night) meeting of the commissioners.

Well, I deserved it. Being a seasoned journalist I should have confirmed the facts if I felt there was any doubt on the information I had.

However, that being said, I do expect a phone call or an e-mail from a county official if I have erred in reporting a story…at least within a couple of days after the paper has hit the street. That way I would have been prepared, had knowledge of the mistake, prior to readers calling me to point out the error. It’s kind of like walking into a crowded room with your pants unzipped.

Football frenzy… date (I’m writing this on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 26) my beloved NC State Wolfpack is unbeaten (4-0); the Dolphins are riding high at 2-0 and my fantasy football team is tied for the division lead at 2-0. Wish I could say the same for the Hawks of Chowan University. They battled back on Saturday night at home vs. Virginia State, trailing 17-zip at halftime and lost 20-13.

Speaking of the Hawks home opener on Saturday, the game officials were horrible.

There was a blown pass interference call, one where the Chowan receiver was belted across the middle while the pass was in the air…that flag, if thrown, would have kept a first half drive alive.

On another occasion, the spot on a 4th down run by the visitors was highly questionable. Even then, with the ball appearing an inch short of the first down marker, there was no measurement, just the indication of a first down (one that kept a TD drive alive).

There was also a fumble where no bean bags were thrown.

But the most appalling situation occurred when the linesman verbally threatened a Chowan official on the sideline.

I would appeal to the CIAA to look at the tape of this game and hand down any disciplinary action, if warranted, against this officiating crew.

At some point this week, Roanoke-Chowan Publications will release its inaugural Boomers magazine. It’s a joint venture between our office and our sister publications in Suffolk, Va. and Franklin, Va.

The magazine is dedicated to the “active generation” – those ages 45 and over. All stories were generated locally between the three markets.

Check it out and let me know what you think.

Cal Bryant is Editor of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald and Gates County Index. He can be reached at or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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