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Editing checklist?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by ghostrider, Sep 19, 2007.

  1. ghostrider

    ghostrider New Member

    For you desk folks, what are the specific things you're looking for when you edit a story?

    I'm trying to develop a checklist of sorts for our young copy editors and I'm wondering if you all have any advice about what they should be looking for as they read. It could be as basic as "make sure all last names have a first reference" to advanced stuff like "read the story once before making any changes".

    Thanks for taking the time to share your expertise.
  2. EStreetJoe

    EStreetJoe Well-Known Member

    Not sure if this is what you're looking for,but here's an editor's checklist:

    or go through these links and see if you find anything helpful:
  3. Jeremy Goodwin

    Jeremy Goodwin Active Member

    EStreetJoe's first link mentioned most of these what I'm going to say.

    Are all the names verified? (against a roster or Web site, if possible)
    Do all names have first references?
    Do the numbers add up?
    Have you checked all the stats (for pros and colleges where they are available)?
    Do you have the team records?
    Did you spell check?
    Is there a dateline (if needed)?
    Are all the cities / schools spelled correct?
  4. TyWebb

    TyWebb Well-Known Member

    Without getting into re-working the story to make it flow better, I think Jeremy hit all of what I usually look for.

    I would add to keep an eye out for AP style, especially with stats.
  5. TheMethod

    TheMethod Member

    Who actually does all this? I've never seen an editor do all that stuff. Usually, they read through it quickly, fix typos and maybe call the writer if a sentence doesn't make sense.
  6. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    and thank you, j.d. cannon
  7. Editude

    Editude Active Member

    I tend to edit earlier in the process, so:

    Does the story support the lead?
    Is it balanced, not for appearance but for (possible) substantive differences?
    Do the quotes prop up the point or serve as props for shallow writing?
    Is its length proportionate to its purpose?
    Is it interesting?
  8. Dan Rydell

    Dan Rydell Guest

    Actually, I would prefer that the writer check his or her work before filing.

    Good sportswriting includes the ability to deliver accuracy on deadline.
  9. Jeremy Goodwin

    Jeremy Goodwin Active Member

    Agreed. That list is the things that I do before filing, but it could/should also apply to the desk. I know I sometimes forget to include records on tight deadline stories, or if it's two .500 teams and the records don't mean much. After typing up my byline and dateline in a file before the game I usually write a few of these questions at the top of my story, so before I file I make sure the desk won't have any major problems.
  10. Some Guy

    Some Guy Active Member

    Our desk is instructed to check all of that stuff, unless the deadline is so tight that it is just impossible. Likewise, our writers are instructed to leave a "cq" next to names that we already know are 100 percent correct, so the desk doesn't have to bother with them.

    There's nothing wrong with being too thorough.
  11. ghostrider

    ghostrider New Member

    Thank you guys so much for helping me out with this. It's a great refresher for me, and will really help young editors.
  12. ghostrider

    ghostrider New Member

    This is good stuff. What else are you guys looking for beyond grammar/spelling/fact checking?
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