Wick Communications

Don’t let your watch stop

In Accuracy on January 25, 2013 at 9:03 am

watch

Even a broken clock is right twice a day. You’ve heard that, right?

I was thinking about that old maxim today when I picked up the pocket watch you see up there. It’s an American Walthem “sidewinder” and it belonged to my great-grandfather. It was manufactured in 1898, according to a little research I did on the serial number engraved on the thing. Abraham Lincoln was given one like it on the occasion of the Gettysburg Address. Mine was a Christmas gift this year from my father. I had no idea that it even existed and now I treasure it.

It doesn’t work, unfortunately. The jeweler told me a spring is busted and it would be several hundred dollars to get it back into working order. I’m going to have to think about that. Which means, for the time being, it’s right twice a day.

Why am I telling you all this?

Maybe it’s because my broken watch reminds me of the difference between an objet d’art (great-grandpa’s watch) and a functioning timepiece (the ol’ Swiss Army watch on my wrist.) Accuracy is the difference, of course. I can count on one of them. One I will look at several times today. Only one is part of my daily routine. The other is something I put up on the mantel and admire from time to time. …

That is undoubtedly the way readers consider their journalism. They will only return day after day to trusted sources that they know publish the truth – every time. It’s not good enough to be right every so often. Each brief counts, or we wouldn’t print it.

Of course, even a good watch needs to be wound. They stop from time to time. They require service. We all make mistakes. But good watchmakers and fine journalists all know that a commitment to quality is the only way to assure happy customers year after year.

Clay

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