With all sincerity, we’re very sorry

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By Jonna Spelbring Priester

The saying goes something like this ... “to err is human, to forgive divine.”

I am a human being. And last week, I erred. In fact, I made a pretty fat mistake — in a headline no less.

I misspelled Makayla James’ last name in a headline on Cindy DiFazio’s story about the 10-year-old and her love of riding horses.

Then, I missed the misspelling in the lead paragraph of the story.

First and foremost, Makayla, you have my sincere apologies.

In one of my less than creative moments — headline writing is not as easy as folks might think — I botched your last name. No amount of saying “I’m very, very sorry,” can change the mistake, and believe me when I say that I feel absolutely horrible about it.

At the Local, we do what we can to try to minimize mistakes — no less than four people read each page on Tuesdays, more than a lot of newspapers allot for proofreading. We look specifically for things like this. And through that, we catch a lot of typos, but we also miss a few. That four proofreaders and I missed this mistake is astounding.

Nobody takes mistakes more personally than I do. This one pained me because the story was intended as a feature on a young person in our community doing something neat.

But we all are human, and we’re going to make mistakes, no matter how hard we try to prevent them. This one wasn’t our first, and it probably won’t be our last. The important thing is that we learn from them, and try to figure out a way to prevent them from happening again.

It’s our responsibility to be more diligent about catching mistakes before they make it into print. But sometimes, they happen, and we’re very sorry when they do.

Because we messed this one up, and because we do feel so horribly about it, we’re re-running the story this week on page A5, complete with a larger photo.

Again, Makayla, my apologies to you and your family.

You deserved better, and we failed you.

Jonna can be reached at editor@hclocal.com