Dispatches > News

Corrective measure

Issue: "Broken beyond repair?," Sept. 25, 2010

Journalists have a term for the paragraph or two in a story that explains what the story is all about: "nut graph," with nut signifying "kernel," not "crazy." A crazy thing happened on the way to publication of our last issue, though: A mistake in the production process led to the nut graphs of our cover story being dropped.

The first mistakenly excised paragraph summarized the point of the story: "This article will look at some young-earth creationist thinking as compared with conventional theories, and suggest how Christian colleges should react." The second paragraph explained the setting: in the Grand Canyon "rafting with 25 creationists, most of whom think that God created everything not in billions of years but in six days. For nearly 200 miles we headed down the Colorado River through rapids that contain the fastest-flowing water in North America." Readers could infer much of this from the rest of the article, but if you read it and saw a big jump with some basics unexplained, you were right.

This is the first time in editors' memory that we've dropped paragraphs like that, and we've reviewed our system to minimize the possibility of it happening again.

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