Error-Ridden Cronkite Article in NY Times Would Have Disappointed Uncle Walter

When writing an article about the country's most famous newsman (not to mention the namesake of ASU's School of Journalism and Mass Communication) you'd think a New York Times reporter would double-check all of the facts, if for nothing other than a bit of post-mortem respect.

Guess not. Take a look at this mind-numbing correction today for an July 17 article about Walter Cronkite written by the habitually sloppy Alessandra Stanley, (which we first spotted today thanks to Jim Romanesko's Web site):

Correction: July 22, 2009 An appraisal on Saturday about Walter Cronkite's career included a number of errors. In some copies, it misstated the date that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was killed and referred incorrectly to Mr. Cronkite's coverage of D-Day. Dr. King was killed on April 4, 1968, not April 30. Mr. Cronkite covered the D-Day landing from a warplane; he did not storm the beaches. In addition, Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon on July 20, 1969, not July 26. "The CBS Evening News" overtook "The Huntley-Brinkley Report" on NBC in the ratings during the 1967-68 television season, not after Chet Huntley retired in 1970. A communications satellite used to relay correspondents' reports from around the world was Telstar, not Telestar. Howard K. Smith was not one of the CBS correspondents Mr. Cronkite would turn to for reports from the field after he became anchor of "The CBS Evening News" in 1962; he left CBS before Mr. Cronkite was the anchor. Because of an editing error, the appraisal also misstated the name of the news agency for which Mr. Cronkite was Moscow bureau chief after World War II. At that time it was United Press, not United Press International.


For slightly more accurate news coverage of Cronkite's life, we direct you to a neat compilation of articles put together by Arizona State University, home of the journalism school that bears his name.

ASU has several other Web pages dedicated to Cronkite, including photo albums and a memorial register.