11/19/2014 11:50 am ET

New York Times Accidentally Publishes Keystone Story Before It's Ready

Well, that’s embarrassing.

The New York Times made an unfortunate slip Tuesday when it accidentally published an incomplete, TK-filled story about the Senate's vote on the Keystone XL pipeline.

Posted online about an hour before the actual vote was slated to take place, the article featured two different versions of the same story: one in which “The Senate narrowly voted to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline Tuesday evening,” and another that explained how the “Senate Democrats narrowly defeated [the] bill TK to TK.”

TK, shorthand for “to come,” is often used by journalists as a placeholder for information that’s to be added in the future.

As Talking Points Memo notes, the published article also included a reference to “B Matter,” shorthand for basic background information, and other journalistic jargon.

On Tuesday evening, Carolyn Ryan, New York Times’ political editor and Washington bureau chief, told Politico that an editor who had been working on the article had “inadvertently” published the piece on the Web. She stressed the reporters who had worked on the story “were not in any way responsible”

“We were preparing multiple versions of stories describing potential outcomes of the Keystone vote: pass, fail, etc, so we would be ready for any action,” Ryan said, adding that the outlet does this “routinely on big breaking news.”

Though their publishing error was clearly an honest mistake, the Times still fell victim to an onslaught of light-hearted jabs by eagle-eyed journalists Tuesday.

But as the Daily Beast's Tim Mak sagely pointed out:



Journalism Scandals