Medal News

Volume 36, Number 6, June 1998

From the Editor's desk

Volume 36, Number 6, June 1998

MANY readers may have been surprised to see the letter from Jim Burnhams in the April edition of MEDAL NEWS. This pointed out that Leon Goldsworthy, the subject of an article in the March edition of the magazine, had been wrongly attributed with having been made a member of the Distinguished Service Order (DSO), when he had in fact been awarded a Distinguished Service Cross for the gallant act described. Readers may have wondered how this mistake occurred. In this particular case the error was in the original manuscript submitted by the author, and everything followed from that. There was no reason to suspect that the citation quoted in the article was anything other than one which could have accompanied the award of a DSO, therefore no editorial action was taken. While the editorial staff at MEDAL NEWS do their best to ensure that errors of fact are eliminated before the magazine is printed, we are totally reliant on our contributors for the content of articles. It would clearly be an impossible task to attempt to check every date, quantity, or statement of historical fact in every piece published. I believe it says a great deal for our contributors that this kind of mistake happens extremely rarely, but I am always grateful to readers who spot mistakes and point them out. This is how we all learn. There is no doubt that mistakes during the editorial process do slip through from time to time for other reasons; for example, numbers (including dates) are the easiest pieces of data to corrupt, and the most difficult to check. While I hope that minor inaccuracies of this kind, when they do occur, do not affect the overall impact of articles and reports of news stories, or diminish readers' enjoyment, they are nevertheless untoward occurrences, and generally to be avoided.

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