NBC News were the first to report the death of astronaut Neil Armstrong, which is obviously a huge story, but in the frenzy to get the first full story up on their website they made a mistake in their headline. They originally reported the death of 'Astronaut Neil Young'.
NBC News first reported Armstrong's death in a tweet. That's where most people first heard the news. Armstrong's wife Carol told NBC's Jay Barbree about her husband's passing and that's how word got out. Barbree broke the story, and he's getting praised for it.
In the minutes after, the NBC News website was frantically trying to get their story up. In their haste, a mistake was made. As Digg's Ross Neumann points out, for the first few minutes the story was up online, the headline mistakenly reported the death of 'Astronaut Neil Young':
Let's be clear: we aren't mocking the poor writer who made the mistake. The byline reads NBC News, so there's no indication of who's at fault. The story's been updated, of course, but with a correction. "Editor's note: An earlier version of this story misstated Neil Armstrong's last name.," it reads. The original headline still comes up on Google News:
Typos are something we deal with every day writing online. It's something we can sympathize with. Sometimes they're small and inconsequential. Other times, they happen in one of the biggest stories you've been asked to write. It was a Freudian slip, if anything. The writer didn't get it completely wrong, like CNN and Fox News did after the health care ruling. The brain went one way and the writer's fingers went another. We just hope whoever was responsible doesn't get fired for it.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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