My two-pronged approach to editing:
- Make writers look good. Slice excess words, streamline story flow, build a strong intro, trim from the middle to lock in a strong ending.
- Keep writers from looking bad. Kill cliches, eliminate typos, double-check names, point out logical errors and intellectual inconsistencies.
My 20-year newspaper career makes me an expert in:
- AP style.
- Tone, fairness and libel.
- Headline, summary and caption writing.
- Page layout with InDesign, QuarkXpress, CCI Layout Champ.
- Photo selection and play (if the headline says “Man charged with murder,” the picture should not be a woman).
Recent editing gigs
San Jose Mercury News: I edited and designed news, features and opinion pages for 10 years, using an expansive command of journalism fundamentals and newspaper production requirements (missing deadline was not an option).
- News desk: I edited everything from world news briefs to 1A centerpieces. I specialized in quickly assembling inside wire pages and getting them done on time to clear the decks for major local news stories coming later. I also edited state and local news pages.
- Features: I edited and designed music, movies, food, and home and garden pages. I also produced the annual Best of Silicon Valley tab for several years, and consulted with some of the best page designers in the business to ensure their visuals matched our stories.
- Opinion: I spent about a year doing all the layout, copy editing, headline writing and image selection for the Mercury News opinion pages. During that year our pages took top awards in a statewide competition, besting the Los Angeles Times.
- Mastered a complex financial theory connecting stock prices to the flow of cash into the stock market via corporate mergers and buybacks.
- Edited in-depth weekly report on U.S. macroeconomic fundamentals.
- Mastered theory connecting real-time employment data to performance of the financial markets.
- Helped translate economist’s expertise into readable prose.
- Edited monthly reports on the state of the hedge fund industry.
Other editing gigs:
- Peoria Journal Star: For six years, I did all the editing and design for features pages including entertainment, food, home & garden, and entertainment. I also designed and edited Sunday’s front page for a year.
- Tampa Tribune: I worked five years editing and laying out pages on the local news desk, producing zoned news sections under extremely tight deadlines.