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Magazine errors

Jamie Johnson wrote:

>I do love to look through and read TFH, and I LOVE to catch them 
>with misprints. Remember at the beginning of the year when I 
>emailed them about the article on medications. The article stated 
>that malachite green was full of copper, and we ALL know 
>it_is_not. I emailed the author to show him the error and he said he 
>had never included that in his article, that the editor tossed in his 
>own comments, and the copper statement was one of them. 

Let me tell you the realities of the aquarium magazine business.  There are
MANY mistakes printed in all 3 of the major magazines.  FAMA is probably
worst because of their no-editing editorial policy.  But any time that you
get multiple people involved with putting something into print without
enough lead time for checking and re-checking at each stage, mistakes will
be made.  It is _extremely_ irritating to write an article, and see it in
print, only to find that some editor that knows less than you do about your
material has thrown in some erroneous "tidbit" on a whim.  But it happens
to all of us.  

Then there's the art department.  They have a habit of putting the wrong
photos with the wrong captions... sometimes with the wrong article.  I once
used a photo of my 3 year old son sitting beside a 20G tank printed with a
caption about a 600G restaurant tank.  I had another photo of H. difformis
printed upside down. (very few people caught that one, BTW... I did get a
few comments on how well grown my 3 year old was, however ;-)  In the
newest issue of AFM, a diagram I did was flipped mirror image so that it no
longer corresponds to the layout of the tanks in the accompanying photos.
I don't know HOW that happened, but I know it was in the art department.

Unfortunately, the best they can do after the fact is print an erratum.
Those who rely on these magazines for information would do well to read the
errata in the magazine every month.  As to writing letters correcting them,
I'm glad you're up to the task, Jamie.  I stopped getting FAMA because I
got so irritated at the huge amount of mis-information each month.  It
seems to me that FAMA counts on all the letters of rebuttal as free
editorial material each month.  

So keep policing them, and keep after them to do a better job.  But also
remember how many people are involved, and how many places there are for
something to go wrong.  Over all, I still think the magazines do more good
than bad for our hobby.