Editor's note: Robert Feder is on spring break until April 7. While he's away, we're running "The Best of Feder." The following post originally appeared on Jan. 20, 2010:
If you've ever been closely involved in a news story -- either as a participant or a witness -- you know what it's like to turn on a newscast that night or pick up a newspaper the next day and see how it's been reported. Unfortunately, there's often something wrong.
It could be as simple as a misspelled (or mispronounced) name or an incorrect address. Or it could be a more significant error of fact, omission of detail or misplacement of emphasis. But one way or another, a reporter's second-hand version of events seldom matches the recollection or perspective of first-hand experience.