Sky News war reports from Georgia makes case for editorial control

Sky News is reporting that Russia is doing to the entire state of Georgia what Sherman did to the city of Atlanta – in doing so making the case for engaging in editorial controls for online content as this horrible conflict is actually taking place in Eurasian country formerly the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic now simply known as Georgia; and not the U.S. State immediately north of Florida.

About 10 years ago, I had the pleasure of having two teenage young men from Georgia stay at my house for about three weeks while they were in transit between a private school in Montgomery County, Maryland.  Affectionately referred to as “the Boys,” both my wife and I are in prayer for these young men, now grown-up, and possibly in the field looking down the barrel of a Russian tank.

As a result, we have been watching the news stories, hoping and praying this conflict end. So imagine our surprise when we saw a story in Sky News whose “in depth” background section on Georgia read:

“Georgia is a state in the southern United States. Georgia was one of the Thirteen Colonies that revolted against British rule in the American Revolution.”

Here’s a screen shot of it:

Sky News makes a rookie mistake, identifying the wrong Georgia in war account.

Russia rolls into Atlanta?

No wonder why they disclaim their lazy journalism with this statement:

“Information generated by Wikipedia. Sky News takes no responsibility for its accuracy.”

So what does this mean for your church and/or charity website?

Glad you asked.

I think I can best sum up the lesson learned here by quoting myself from a post entitled “5 Things WordPress 2.3 Brings to your Church Web Site Design” where I wrote:

  1. Pending review – this to me is the BIG KAHUNA of features as many blog-driven church websites are also multi-author church websites. Who benefits? How about a youth minister who wants to enable students, but would like the final okay before publishing member-submitted content. Same goes for the main website, where a designated editor can help make sure what goes out the public doesn’t wind up on some “signs and blunders ” website.

Whether or not you’re church uses WordPress as a content management system on the cheap, it is probably not a bad idea to have someone – staff or lay person – preview select content before it goes out “in-the-wild.”

By select I mean stuff along the lines of:

  • lay-ministry submitted content
  • personal testimonies
  • sermons
  • directions

Sure, it creates a bit of a bottleneck, then again I don’t think this is an issue for most churches as they’re not in the news service game. And considering the costs of having something said on your website World-wide that you’d find embarrassing locally in your church bulletin, the effort and delay is probably worth the price.