Sink, Sank, Sunk: Story of the L.A. Times
The first people to go at newspapers when shrinkage occurs (which is quite frequent these days) are the proofreaders and copyeditors, those who are charged with making sure that correct English appears in print.
Though the Los Angeles Times is usually pretty good on the correctness front, I came across a sentence Saturday (Sept. 20) that misused a form of the verb to sink, to wit: "Meanwhile, shares of Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs sunk as investors bet they would collapse…."
I still remember from probably the third grade memorizing the base forms of this verb as "sink, sank, sunk," so without a modifying verb–and using just the simple past tense–the authors of this article could not have used sunk, though they did.
I chalk this one up to a) sloppiness and b) stupidity rather than hiring and firing policies, which, sadly, is worse than the latter.