Associated Press – even their grammar is wrong

Or in internet-speak, grammer.

Since I got online, back in the 90s, I’ve become aware of glaring problems regarding the state of American grammar. I had no idea, and I think it’s atrocious.

In an Associated Press story, the reporter confused it’s and its. There is no excuse for that, not from a person who makes a living as a writer.

All three were to address the convention on Monday, it’s opening day.

It’s is a contraction for it is. Possessive its has no apostrophe. I can handle this kind of thing in emails and instant messages, but not from an Associated Press reporter. Unacceptable. In my world (in which I no longer work), you would have been fired on the spot for that.

That’s the URL, but I’ve taken screenshots in case it disappears. I’ve seen things like this before, but from small weekly papers often run by a family. They usually don’t have the budget to hire someone who graduated from journalism school, so I can live with it.

But the Associated Press? This is the state of American journalism today. It’s in the crapper, and that is the correct use of an apostrophe.

CBS News – and my personal rock star Dan Rather – lost all credibility with Rathergate. They’ve tried to rehabilitate by sending Rather to media Siberia and hiring Katie Couric. She’s cute, but she’s no Cronkite. CBS is a joke.

New York Times – they’re on deathwatch, along with the LA Times.

And the list goes on.

Associated Press has done some ridiculous things lately, involving staged photos in Palestinian territory. As far as I know, they’ve never owned up to it. In fact, no media outlet has owned up to its disasters since Janet Cooke lost her Pulitzer after writing a fake story for the Washington Post. Back in those days, the media cared. Editors were mortified.

Now it’s just business as usual and you simply cannot believe what you read in the paper or see on the news. Take it all with a grain of salt and know by the end of the day, the story may have completely changed. And you probably won’t see a correction. Apparently pretending nothing happened is modus operandi.

I’m bothered by the number of Americans who can’t grasp the basics of its/it’s, their/they’re/there, your/you’re and so on. But in journalism? I still admit to a former career in journalism, but I am chagrined to do so.

What happened to the field since I left it? Yes, it has always had a distinctly liberal bias because those that enter journalism are predominantly liberals. But journalists cared when there were scandals. There is no pride anymore. Of course there are no jobs, either, but that’s the media’s own fault.

The state of American journalism is an embarrassment.