…As Long as You Get My Name Right

It’s nice to see the Oakland Tribune covering the wonderful improvements that are about to be made to the southern end of Lake Merritt, where a dreadful ten-lane thoroughfare is going to be turned into a pedestrian-friendly, bike-friendly area with expanded lakeside parkland. It would have been nice, too, if they hadn’t flubbed the name of my City Councilmember in a photo caption in this morning’s paper:

Her name is Patricia—or usually, just Pat—Kernighan, as any copy editor at the Tribune should know. Nancy is the first name of the other Councilmember whose district includes part of the lake, Nancy Nadel. A minor error, to be sure, which was fixed in the online edition and quickly followed by a published correction, but whenever I see these sloppy mistakes in the Tribune, I always think of a new line that was added to the paper’s front page nameplate at the beginning of this year:

Ah, I see, the Oakland Tribune is now merely “an edition of the San Jose Mercury News.” No wonder they sometimes can’t keep the people on the Oakland City Council straight!

9 Responses to “…As Long as You Get My Name Right”

  1. jabel says:

    Maybe they confused her name with Nancy Kerrigan!

  2. dc says:

    Could be! As far as I know, Councilmember Kernighan has only been kneecapped by her opponents metaphorically, not literally.

  3. unique distance from isolation says:

    Wow–too bad about her name, but what a great public works project!

  4. dc says:

    Yeah, it’s going to be great, and a long time coming—I was still in NY when voters approved the project in 2002 (and who knows, maybe I’ll be there again by the time its done in 2012). They’ve already made some big improvements around other parts of the lake, but this project is the big kahuna. With the current configuration, one can’t even walk from my neighborhood to the BART station without hustling nervously across 10 to 12 high-speed traffic lanes, or walking an extra five minutes to an intersection where there are traffic lights.

  5. wordnerd says:

    Lake Merritt is one of the Wonders of the Urban World.

  6. dc says:

    Wordnerd: Really? And to think that I only live a 7 minute walk from its shores! Are you hoping to get a blurb on an Oakland Convention & Visitors Bureau brochure or something?

  7. wordnerd says:

    I challenge another city to match it: human life, wildlife, still life…

  8. Cecily says:

    Sorry, can’t blame the regionalization of the paper on this one (although it’s an easy target), just our new Tribune photo intern. She’ll have memorized everyone’s name by the time she leaves, I suspect.

  9. dc says:

    “although it’s an easy target”

    Touché. Fair enough, and everyone makes mistakes sometimes. That said, these little errors are a lot more likely to make it into print when copy desks have been so thinned out that there are fewer sets of eyes to, for example, look at page proofs before the presses start rolling, and it seems like every year brings more newsroom layoffs at the Tribune. It’s distressing, for those of us who still value newspapers, to see the Tribune (and most other papers) get gutted and consolidated by their out-of-town owners, not that I have any great new ideas for how to stop the bleeding.

    Anyway, thanks for your coverage, of this project and other news around town.

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