Editing commentary

Batting .250 on a big story

March 25, 2004
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CJR’s Campaign Desk looks at how the New York Times, New York Post, Washington Post and Washington Times covered the 9/11 commission hearings. Conclusion: only one of the four opened with a balanced perspective, and the other three reflected the paper’s editorial page philosophy. And here I thought everybody ignored the editorial pages.

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A nod to the shooters

March 16, 2004
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“I intensely dislike seeing any of our pictures manipulated in any way.” David Viggers, Reuters? photo editor From an editorsweblog post on UK newspapers that cropped body parts out of their pictures of the Madrid bombings. Yeah, it’s another self-important declaration of purity by a photo editor. It should offer an excuse to go...

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Talk about an omission

March 11, 2004
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Has it occurred to anybody that we’re into our fifth (fourth?) year of this decade and nobody’s given it a name yet?

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Those poor Posties

March 8, 2004
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Something I missed when Romensko posted it last month: Washington Post guidelines for sourcing, quotes, datelines, etc. For kicks I did a Microsoft Word word count: it weighs in at 3,500-plus. Oughta be something in the Guild contract protecting members from having to memorize memos of more than, say, 500 words, or, failing that,...

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You call this freedom?

March 5, 2004
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Jen over at Nonsense Verse says keepin’ it real ain’t really an option anymore, at least not on her blog. It was all well and good to be all deep-down and true when nobody was paying any attention. These days people like me might link to her page and one of my regular readers...

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Rule No. 1: Don’t be a fucking moron

March 4, 2004
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I can’t imagine what the excuse was for an editor changing “pro-life” to “anti-abortion” in an opera review that had nothing to do with abortion, but whoever you are, well: Thanks for all your help. Seems like every other day I’m defending us from people who insist editors are narrow-minded, reflexive and unfit to...

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Facts on fonts

February 27, 2004
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Which is better, serif or sans serif? Answers abound at Testy Copy Editors

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Nitpick of the day

February 26, 2004
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From the story on the BaltSun’s new editor, in Editor & Publisher. The most unique move, creation of a demographics beat, is based on the paper’s need to improve coverage of the city’s changing population, the editor said. Two points: Unique cannot be modified because it means “one of a kind.” My employer has...

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Like fish in a barrel

February 20, 2004
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It’s that easy for the folks at Testy Copy Editors to dismiss missives posted at The Poynter Institute’s site. Choice zinger of the morning: Myth No. 6 about short writing: Poynter’s “senior scholars” know something about the subject. Speaking of the TCEs, they also discussed whether quotes should be cleaned up. While we’re on...

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On writers being editors

February 12, 2004
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Book editor and freelance writer Jen Weiss passes some tips along. Once you’ve finished writing, try putting it away for a while. A day, a week?however long it’ll take you to nearly forget about it. Most writers I know agree that this is the only way they’re able to hack into their writing effectively....

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