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Apology: Error should not have happened

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Column by Ben Sheroan, editor

By Ben Sheroan

No reasonable excuse exists for the horrible mistake that occurred Thursday in The News-Enterprise. By now, many of you have heard about it.

The paper reported on the front page in a paraphrased statement: “Hardin County Sheriff John Ward said those who go into the law enforcement profession typically do it because they have a desire to shoot minorities.”

Sheriff Ward is not responsible for the statement. He said nothing of the sort.

A retraction and apology has been printed Friday on Page A1. As community members and neighbors, we feel it is important to repeat this apology again publicly to Sheriff John Ward, the entire law enforcement community and to you, our readers.

We share the outrage and disgust expressed by many of you.

Internally, the newspaper leadership spent yesterday researching this error, discovering the form it took and taking corrective action. As a result, the two people involved were fired.

Reporter Anna Taylor, whose name was on the story, is not responsible for this error.

Many of Thursday’s upset callers asked the same question: “Doesn’t anyone proof your newspaper?”

Well, surprisingly that’s where the error took place. A function and process designed to rid the news pages of error instead added a terrible one that altered the reporter’s original sentence. No reasonable excuse can exist.

It takes years to develop trust. It takes only seconds to destroy it.

We understand our credibility may be called into question but the sheriff should not be subjected to the same scrutiny.

Again, no excuse. The newspaper asks only for your understanding. Our staff will strive to recapture your respect and earn your faith anew.

Ben Sheroan is editor of The News-Enterprise. He can be reached at 270-505-1764 or bsheroan@thenewsenterprise.com.