National Beer Day is coming up on April 7, and The Arizona Republic marked the occasion with a feature in its April 6th edition that highlighted Arizona’s growing beer scene. The problem is…the article was riddled with errors.
I generally really like The Republic‘s food coverage. Dominic Armato’s giddy enthusiasm for food in the valley makes for great reading (and viewing) and he has a great team of other writers who supplement the paper’s coverage. But the article in question, “Beer in Phoenix: Guide to Arizona’s Best Local Breweries on National Beer Day,” written by Kellie Hwang displayed a remarkable lack of attention to detail.
Here’s a short list of problems in the article:
- The article was a revision of an article originally published in 2016. The Republic‘s on-line version doesn’t try to hide that it ‘recycles’ articles frequently and today’s article doesn’t try to hide that it was originally published two years ago. I remember it when it originally was written, in fact.
- McFate Brewery is shown in photographs as still being “Fate.” Yes, the text of the article was updated, but accompanying photos and captions still show “Fate”.
- Papago Brewing is listed as still being open. Photos and captions list the brewery as still being in Scottsdale.
- Two breweries are listed as being in the wrong part of the valley: Old Ellsworth (in Queen Creek) is grouped under Phoenix Breweries; 12 West (in Gilbert) is listed as being in West Phoenix.
Two years ago, the original article omitted North Mountain Brewing, an error which was quickly corrected. [Yes, I remember.] I suspect that the beer community will alert The Republic to these issues and the article will be amended just as quickly.
But…I teach journalism and emphasize to my students the importance of accuracy and fact-checking. These kinds of issues would not pass the muster in my classes. How did this happen at a major newspaper?