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Three cheers for copy editors

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by InTheKnow22, Dec 30, 2018.

  1. InTheKnow22

    InTheKnow22 New Member

    Last edited: Dec 31, 2018
  2. typefitter

    typefitter Well-Known Member

    I always tell this story regarding the value of copy editors:

    Once wrote a front-page lede that included what I thought was "genteel," as in "the genteel sport of..."

    I'd written gentile. Copy editor came over, a little embarrassed, apologizing for his lack of athletics knowledge, to make sure the sport really didn't allow Jews.

    Twenty years later, I still say his name in my sleep, like a lost love.
  3. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    If only someone at ESPN had known what the Montreal Massacre was.
  4. swingline

    swingline Well-Known Member

    Rosebud ...
    Twirling Time likes this.
  5. Bronco77

    Bronco77 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for posting that article, InTheKnow. A nice change from so many of those newsroom memos over the past 10 years: "We're eliminating our copy desk, but these are exciting times."
    Liut and Baron Scicluna like this.
  6. Fredrick

    Fredrick Well-Known Member

    Copy editors are unbelievably valuable. However ... haven't they been pretty much eliminated? Most news organizations big and small don't have the staff to do much more than breeze over copy to post it online. And don't most news organizations now make the writers write their own headlines and introduction to stories? There aren't many newspapers that can afford copy editors anymore, at least that's what I've been led to believe.
  7. crimsonace

    crimsonace Well-Known Member

    My wife was a full-time copy editor/designer at a small community daily for a LONG time. She's now a hybrid reporter/desker who spends half her time writing and half editing (with reduced editing and no design responsibilities). She's mentioned quite a few times where she has had to bail out writers.

    You don't notice you need one until you see an egregious, embarrassing mistake in print. Then, you're thankful for the desk.
    Bronco77 and Liut like this.
  8. Rhody31

    Rhody31 Well-Known Member

    I’ve never had a copy editor until now and holy god is it helpful. It’s not just the typos or minor mistakes - it’s eliminating unnecessary writing. I constantly compare my original copy to the final work and I’m starting to write tighter and cleaner and not wasting words.
    Living in fear of getting my balls busted by them also helps.
    Bronco77 and sgreenwell like this.
  9. typefitter

    typefitter Well-Known Member

    I just noticed a genuine grammatical mistake (not a nitpick) in the opening scroll from The Last Jedi. How many people saw that before it went out into the universe?
  10. sgreenwell

    sgreenwell Well-Known Member

    Well, it was written a long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.
  11. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    That is not the mistake you are looking for.
  12. Fredrick

    Fredrick Well-Known Member

    I would like to propose a toast to all copy editors present/past and future. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your service! These are some of the true journalism heroes.
    ChrisLong likes this.
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