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 Post subject: Should I lie?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 3:10 pm 
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An acquaintance of mine who's finishing up a distinguished college career this summer with a Dow Jones Fund internship asked me flat-out the other day if I thought there was a long future for a copy editor in this business — if it was something she should plan on as a career.

I really don't think there is. But I'm hesitant to say it outright. If you're more optimistic than I am, what would you say to her?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 3:18 pm 
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There's a future for copy editors, but it might not be in this business, or one that looks like this business. For a career, try the corporate communications world. If you want to be in journalism, it's best to be flexible.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 5:21 pm 
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Right. I'm being recruited by a private company that provides economic and political info reports for business clients. The pay would be better than I've ever gotten at a newspaper.

No one knows for sure what the information landscape will look like in 10 years, but there will be people paying for useful information in some fashion, and providers who recognize the value of editing. No guesses here as to how many or in what form.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 6:41 pm 
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I'm convinced that the most prospects will be in online venues. I will be very surprised to still be working in print within a decade. But I do expect to still be working as a copy ed.


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 Post subject: Re: Should I lie?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 7:09 pm 
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Ask her:

Are you attached to journalism, or is any editing fine?

Are you good enough to be able to hold your own when a significant number of jobs are cut and only the best are getting jobs?

How little are you willing to work for?


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 7:30 pm 
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Well, she doesn't believe in the BS about "good journalism is its own reward," as the editors of parsimonious papers say as a way of justifying working people to the bone. Especially when there's no guarantee that you can work you way up the food chain like those of my generation could. I think the food chain is pretty well rusted through.

My impression is that she wants to be in journalism, and she still defines that as newspapering as done by traditional media companies. But, like the rest of us, I think she has a hard time seeing where the splinters of traditional media will eventually scatter.

Bottom line ... I think she just wants to be an editor of words that matter. And she wants to do it for an employer that pays its people well.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 8:14 pm 
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Wabberjocky wrote:
Bottom line ... I think she just wants to be an editor of words that matter. And she wants to do it for an employer that pays its people well.


Follow-up question:

Do you own a time machine?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 8:54 pm 
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Not me. I've lost faith. One way or the other, I'll be out of newspapers in three to five years. It'll be even money as to whether I'll be pushed before I jump.

But I don't want to tell her that.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 9:29 pm 
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Wabberjocky wrote:
Not me. I've lost faith. One way or the other, I'll be out of newspapers in three to five years. It'll be even money as to whether I'll be pushed before I jump.

But I don't want to tell her that.


You should be honest. There will still be jobs in newspapers for the remainder of her professional life, but those jobs will carry baggage that many will not want to face. It is only fair that they know exactly what they are getting into.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 4:10 am 
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I had a nice lunch with my publisher from college last week, and among the interesting and insightful things he had to say was that he was a bit irritated with how J-profs don't tell their students to expect a rough (and declining) job market.

Jim, as we've already worked together and clearly that didn't work out well despite a lack of dishonesty or inability on the part of myself or our mutual superiors, I'd be hesitant to suggest that this is a career to someone of youth (and I'm young -- just not as young as I was 10 years ago).

I have a few things in the works now, but how long would anything last? Hard to say. I know that a prevailing view is that the Web will be around after print is gone, but I like the finality of a print product -- deadlines are among the reasons I got into this work, and the idea that you get more than one chance to get it right robs the position of some of its value.

We are here to be guardians of the language and to write the first draft of history. Maybe I was even a little too late, but if the passion is for print, don't sell it as "the job will evolve" -- be blunt: "The job will be completely different."

It was difficult visiting my old newsroom at the UW and seeing young people enthusiastic about journalism. I'd love to tell them that the jobs will always be there -- but for whom would I be doing that? I'd like to say them, but there's a sneaking suspicion on my end that it would just make me feel better.

For those of you with pensions nearly ready to go, bravo! I envy the fact that you lived in times when this was a stable career and something you could retire from. Myself, I've told my wife from the time we met that I'm fucked once print journalism passes the brink.

Heh. Happy thoughts on my first anniversary.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 6:23 am 
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Until we go back to communicating with grunts and gestures, someone's going to have to look out for the written word, in my opinion. I think the old saw about knowing your stuff and being flexible and up to date on technology is still sound advice. Newspapers have been focused on shooting themselves in the foot for, what, the past 30 years? So many have thrived for a century or more despite the mail, the telegraph, the phone, radio, television. The amount of editing work is expanding exponentially today. Papers will have to stop cutting back on the basics at some point, and when that happens, those who have kept at it and have up-to-date skills will be sitting pretty again. I doubt newspapers and wires will ever pay great, though.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 10:05 am 
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The problems we face are far deeper than whether people will get their news in print form. This isn't just "will the internet replace the newspaper," as people are fond of casting the argument. There are multiple problems, and the focus on online advertising revenues is distracting us from deeper issues.

First, journalists are becoming structurally underemployed. You can run a news operation on far fewer employees than used to be needed. As we've all been speculating, copy desks are going to go the way of foreign bureaus. One in six media jobs has disappeared in the last eight years:

(Link to E&P story here.)


I don't believe that these jobs are being lost because of tough economic times. I believe they are being lost because advances in technology make them unneccessary. Combine that with the constant flow of j-school grads into the market, and we see wages drop and the incentive for experienced editors to stay in the business diminished.

That's just problem No. 1, though. There's also the fact that our business is built on credibility, and we just don't have that anymore. And all the cheap gimmicks we use to try to ratchet up circulation isn't helping that.

Then, the Internet is a different challenge than mail, radio, television were. There is now exponentially more information than ever before, and people are willing to listen to biased, poorly researched information as long as it feeds their biases and vanities.

Newspapers are in trouble, certainly. But we are so focused on that problem that we haven't noticed that journalism itself is in trouble as well.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 10:54 pm 
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I spent 15 years in Canadian dailies, including some respectable titles, then crossed if you will to the "dark side" to do communications - in my case for a large union. The need for editing, clear writing and succinct messages has not vanished, and that job was replete with deadlines.
Now retired, I'm doing the same kind of stuff for an arts centre in my home town, including a website. The skills translate and will always be needed.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 11:27 pm 
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How about suggesting your friend engage in some old-time hockey and become a reporter for a while and then move to copy editing later...if indeed there still is such a thing by then?


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 Post subject: Re: Should I lie?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 12:50 am 
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KyleJRM wrote:
...jobs are cut and only the best are getting jobs?


The best? Or the cheapest.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 12:02 pm 
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As someone who is finishing college and headed off on a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund internship in June, this is the most depressing thread I've read in a long time.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 9:47 pm 
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I just had a lunch with someone who asked me to do occasional assignments - which suits me fine - who said - in exactly these words - Name your price.
And that's for time thinking of what I am doing as well as time doing.
My going rate is about $50 an hour, Canadian.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 9:54 pm 
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One thing I have been thinking about a lot lately is book publishing. It seems to me that there was a time when each book published was at least edited by one copy editor.

Shakespeare and others in his time didn't have copy editors overseeing their copy, although the people setting the type may have altered the copy. I think writers are supposed to do more self-editing these days, or pay for an editor or book doctor on their own.

I think a limited number of people care about language the way copy editors care about language, and the Internet may be changing attitudes about style and spelling.

If style and spelling become less important to people, then copy editing won't matter as much. I think jobs that only involve editing copy are going to be much scarcer in the future, in journalism and outside journalism.

The last few jobs ads I've looked at that have asked for copy editing skills explicitly have also asked for layout skills, general pr skills (public speaking, in one case), extensive clerical skills ("proficiency with all of Microsoft Office suite" and more), or Web skills (Flash, Dreamweaver, other software). In these ads, copy editing is sort of like the ability to use a keyboard. It is one of a number of skills needed to get a job, but it isn't usually enough on its own.

If someone graduating from college now told me they wanted to do straight copy editing, I would advise them to become fluent in a foreign language or two so they could do translating and editing. Their other alternative is to become a legal secretary or paralegal.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 3:27 am 
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To my knowledge, there are no in-house book copy editors. It's all done by freelancers, at an hourly rate. You can find the average rate if you poke around a bit on the interwebs.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 6:50 pm 
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I know a number of people who make a good living at freelance book copy editing. There are always concerns that book publishers are cutting back as well, of course. But it's still do-able.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 12:17 pm 
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A long time ago, when my beard wasn't the color of snow, a crusty old editor told me that the end of newspapers wouldn't come at the hands of new technology such as cable news (yeah, we're talkin' about a time when cable was young) but when "damned yuppies" take over the newsroom.

I guess he was right.

The problem is that current newsroom managers just don't have the cojones to really grapple with the future. The "damned yuppies" are too busy prancing around like rabid squirrels to really figure out the future of the newspaper.

I suppose the newspaper is on the decline. I hope to be retired before the actual fall, but I don't think I'll make it.

However, I still believe there's a future for the newspaper. People like the tactile feel of it. Much more substantial than a bunch of electrons. And the young folk will soon discover the limitations of the electronic media such as the Web. Remember, the Internet is basically controlled by governments. A week or so ago, if my memory serves me, Pakistan tried to cut access to blogs it didn't like and accidentally shut down the Internet to half of Asia. Or something like that.

Once the youngsters realize that publishing exclusively on the Web means basically being at the mercy of some government bureaucrat (yes, U.S.A., we're talking about you, too), I think that they will see the value of some real-world publication. Of course, I might be long dead before that happens. But, hey, I'm still free to rant. For now.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 12:48 pm 
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Quote:
I know a number of people who make a good living at freelance book copy editing. There are always concerns that book publishers are cutting back as well, of course. But it's still do-able.


As a favor to one of our reporters (yes, he is paying me), I'm in the midst of a final proofread of a book he is writing for a large, prestigious publishing house.

If what I am seeing on these page proofs is an example of the copy-editing "talent" that publishers are using, sharper -- and better -- eyes are desperately, desperately needed.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 1:24 pm 
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It's often a question not of the quality of the eyes available but of what the publisher is willing to pay for. In other words, much like the newsroom.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 6:08 pm 
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nickb wrote:
As someone who is finishing college and headed off on a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund internship in June, this is the most depressing thread I've read in a long time.

And a test of how much ink in the veins one has. Tjhese things go in cycles. One year there are layoffs, the next you can't find staff from love or money.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 8:03 pm 
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paulwiggins wrote:
And a test of how much ink in the veins one has. Tjhese things go in cycles. One year there are layoffs, the next you can't find staff from love or money.


Perhaps, but I still believe that the current round of job cuts are less about advertising revenue dropping on the bad side of the business cyle, and much more about structural changes in the way news is produced and distributed.

And yet, in newspapers I stay. Stupid inky blood.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 10:30 pm 
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nickb wrote:
As someone who is finishing college and headed off on a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund internship in June, this is the most depressing thread I've read in a long time.


I'm finishing grad school in a few weeks. I did a Dow Joes internship last summer (it was the best job I've ever had), and I wish I hadn't read this thread.

Fortunately, I've been well-prepared by my professors, who spend a lot of time telling us how hard it is to get a job right now.

If any of you are in the Pacific Northwest and have the power to hire copy editors (or reporters), I'm free after March 30.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 9:21 am 
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gunslinger wrote:
However, I still believe there's a future for the newspaper. People like the tactile feel of it.


You mean like LPs (and CDs)?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 6:09 pm 
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nickb wrote:
gunslinger wrote:
However, I still believe there's a future for the newspaper. People like the tactile feel of it.


You mean like LPs (and CDs)?


People still interact with their music the same way they have for decades: speakers and headphones.


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PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 12:49 pm 
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Doesn't it seem like there will always have to be a copy-editing, design crew to actually PUT OUT THE PAPER after everyone else has gone home?


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PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 4:05 pm 
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What paper?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 6:46 pm 
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nickb wrote:
As someone who is finishing college and headed off on a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund internship in June, this is the most depressing thread I've read in a long time.


I did the exact same thing four years ago, nickb, and was planning a career as a newspaper copy editor, and still am.

Call me naive and idealistic, but I think newspapers will survive until well after I've retired. There may not be as many of them, but they will be around. Think about some of the most historical events in the past 80 years, or even seven years ago this September. That event happened at just about the worst moment for an a.m. news cycle, but I'm sure they sold a lot of those puppies on Sept. 12. You can't record history in the same way on a Web page than can be erased even quicker than it was created. There's an idea of permanence there -- this is what happened on this date, and this is how the world was then and how it was changed. And the same can be applied to seemingly inconsequential events, like the city council meeting that approved a smoking ban or changed the zoning so a new stadium could be built. The concept of recording a snapshot of time in an unchangeable way has existed long before newspapers were around -- they just perfected it.

Is it possible that some newspaper companies will finally see the cost of newsprint, ink and delivery trucks as too much overhead and go Web-only? Hell yes. But they'll still need someone to edit the copy, regardless of where it goes. I've seen raw copy in lots of places; it's most definitely not ready for publication. And maybe some think publishers will assume paying off one libel suit is a fair trade-off for eliminating an entire desk. But not when those suits start popping up everywhere.

Jim, be honest with your colleague about your opinion. I happen to disagree.


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PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 7:41 pm 
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ndugan1 wrote:
Think about some of the most historical events in the past 80 years, or even seven years ago this September. That event happened at just about the worst moment for an a.m. news cycle, but I'm sure they sold a lot of those puppies on Sept. 12.


Somewhat off-topic, but I kept the Extra from the Arizona Republic on 9/11 as well as Sept. 12 issues of the Republic, Scottsdale Tribune, New York Times and Wall Street Journal. Additionally, the weekly cycle Time, Newsweek and The Economist.

I agree there's something to the tactile nature of major events, but does the general public rush out and buy them unless said major event transpired?

Seems like here in the (24K circ.) sticks, people are buying the paper to find out who the student of the month is more so than how many are dead in Myanmar. And that's some dry copy to read.

Local news-gathering organizations will continue to exist (In print? Who knows.), and editing will have to happen. However, does our young friend want a career in purveying world events or "Hey, Mable" stories?


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 2:26 pm 
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The future of news is in news, and the folks who know how to get it and how to edit it are the ones who are going to survive. Community papers and the AP to a shrinking extent are about the only organizations that are really keeping an eye on day-to-day news anymore. The overpaid bureaucrats who don't know the basics who run the show at most places today will have to move to advertising and PR.

So, yeah, I second the opinion that there'll always be a place for news writers and editors.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 12:45 am 
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Heartodixie wrote:
The future of news is in news, and the folks who know how to get it and how to edit it are the ones who are going to survive. Community papers and the AP to a shrinking extent are about the only organizations that are really keeping an eye on day-to-day news anymore. The overpaid bureaucrats who don't know the basics who run the show at most places today will have to move to advertising and PR.


When they are the ones deciding who gets laid off and signing off on doing this, I'm not so sure.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 12:28 pm 
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vtuss wrote:
When they are the ones deciding who gets laid off and signing off on doing this, I'm not so sure.


From this comment at that link:

Quote:
This might sound funny, but we probably end up with more editing in the end than we did before. In the case of this America's Most Wanted story going up in pieces, we probably had three editors reading through and making changes online throughout the day. Then the story is then put together from the edited pieces for the print product. It then gets another edit or two before even going to a copy editor (who also looks at it). I've had reporters call me at home to have me read something during these early morning shifts. We teach them to show good judgment and call with any questions. We also teach them to go ahead and post things immediately that they feel good about. In these cases, we go back in rather quickly and edit. You have to hire people you can trust and then train them to show good judgment. If people you employ don't show good judgment or if you can't trust them, then you need to get new people. It's worth pointing out that any reporter with a laptop and a wireless card can at least post text directly to the Internet.


Yep, signing off on more editing and hiring the right people is beyond the pale. We'll have none of that, thanks.

(FWIW the first comment, asking the questions that prompted the reply, was from me.)


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 2:32 pm 
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The story in question doesn't seem to be the sort that calls for second-to-second updates. What's the rush?

And wtf goes with "The Star Car, the Star's mobile Wi-Fi hotspot"? I don't mean to be dismissive, but whoop-dee-do.

Image

Meet the Star Car: what looks like souped-up SUV turns out to a reporter’s version of the Batmobile — a rolling mini-newsroom equipped with dash-mounted video camera and wireless laptop all connected to the Star Car’s Wi-Fi antennae that allows reporters and photographers to transmit stories, photos, audio and video live from the field.
How cool is that?
(Carrboro Commons)

*** Not very. I'd feel pretty silly driving around in that thing, and it seems that it would attract attention, which often is the last thing a reporter would want. The equipment might be useful, but it would be more useful installed in, say, my beat-up 1996 Ford Escort. ***


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 2:46 pm 
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I also call out any news-gathering organization that follows the "evolving model" of "post, then edit." It's just wrong. Believe me, people can wait until you make it right.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 3:38 pm 
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Editer wrote:
vtuss wrote:
When they are the ones deciding who gets laid off and signing off on doing this, I'm not so sure.


From this comment at that link:

Quote:
This might sound funny, but we probably end up with more editing in the end than we did before. In the case of this America's Most Wanted story going up in pieces, we probably had three editors reading through and making changes online throughout the day. Then the story is then put together from the edited pieces for the print product. It then gets another edit or two before even going to a copy editor (who also looks at it). I've had reporters call me at home to have me read something during these early morning shifts. We teach them to show good judgment and call with any questions. We also teach them to go ahead and post things immediately that they feel good about. In these cases, we go back in rather quickly and edit. You have to hire people you can trust and then train them to show good judgment. If people you employ don't show good judgment or if you can't trust them, then you need to get new people. It's worth pointing out that any reporter with a laptop and a wireless card can at least post text directly to the Internet.


Yep, signing off on more editing and hiring the right people is beyond the pale. We'll have none of that, thanks.

(FWIW the first comment, asking the questions that prompted the reply, was from me.)


Well, I posted that link before seeing the explanation. But:

1) Because everything that newspaper bosses say is going to happen happens? I'm a bit more skeptical.

2) Even he admits that this situation was way odd in that there was very little to edit. Still, there was something that needed editing! What about all those other pieces? How long is long enough to damage credibility?

3) Everyone needs an editor. (I've edited this piece myself) Every night we all go through pieces that get multiple reads that have glaring omissions, errors, spelling mistakes, even just misreadings or missteps that no one ever considered? Will waiting 10 minutes for another set of eyes really be a problem to anyone? Just because we can do it, should we?

4) And while it may be good (or good enough) for newspapers, I certainly don't think it's good for copy editors. I think Doug is saying that in his post, too.

(Believe me, this struck a chord after wading through a Sunday night rim of copy that went through several hands and at least two pieces were unpublishable jibberish until hitting the copy desk. Another we ran, and I wasn't all that hot about it. And this is copy that sat for days.)


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 11:58 am 
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Phillip Blanchard wrote:
Believe me, people can wait until you make it right.

I always thought that was the original (and sufficient) reason for relying on news organizations instead of the rumor mill. Sacrifice that, and what's the point?


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 12:16 am 
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Well, I was exchanging e-mails a few days ago with a retired editor of the major metropolitan newspaper we both worked for in the '60s, '70s, and '80s. He started the exchange by bemoaning the parlous state the paper has now fallen into -- lots of layoffs, even impending bankruptcy rumors, and more -- which got me to thinking about better times there. The current newspaper resulted from the merger of the morning and afternoon papers in the '80s.

I concluded that the better times came before the merger -- in the '70s for the morning paper (that's where I worked until after the merger) and the '50s or '60s for the afternoon paper. My measures were peak circulation and quality of the journalism (my paper had a strong Washington bureau as well as foreign bureaus in the '70s and copy editors who just edited copy), though I must acknowledge bias in the latter measurement.

I'm wondering now if newspaper journalism is currently in a valley that we'll eventually rise out of or if we're on a continuing downhill slide. I suspect it's not in a neverending slide. I also suspect that the Web is not the last new medium that will come along.

All this is fairly academic for me as I'm on the very verge of retirement and will soon be able to take the "almost" off my sign-on.

When I started out just after the middle of the 20th century, we were still working with 19th century technology. Now we're trying to adapt to late 20th century technology even as we move into the 21st. I've had to be adaptable since the beginning of my career and that, at least, is one thing that's not likely to change for journalists.

See, I'm not even retired yet and already I'm blathering ...


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:46 pm 
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I keep hoping this "news you can use" fad will pass, but as I see even formerly respectable news outlets falling off the cliff like lemmings to provide the latest bells and whistles at the expense of good old-fashioned investigative journalism, I have to wonder who's going to be left to actually provide the first draft of history anymore or is it all going to be just endlessly recycled and regurgitated fluff from now on?

Guess I'm feeling extra testy today...


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 8:03 pm 
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And why isn't investigative reporting considered "news you can use"? Seems to me it would be the most useful kind of news out there, better than having some whoever tell me "where to buy rain boots," as one of "our" people keeps advocating.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 12:03 pm 
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I for one certainly consider investigative reporting to be news I can use, but I seem to be in a small and vanishing minority. Why I would need a newspaper to tell me where to buy rain boots I can't even begin to fathom, though.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 12:14 pm 
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Why can't newspapers provide investigative reporting and information on rain boots? Are they exclusive? Seems to me that newspapers are trying to reach such a broad group of people that there's room in there for a lot of things. And while a few of us might appreciate the yawning, 100-inch multiple-part investigative series, there are probably a lot of readers who really just want to know where they can get some damn rain boots.

Can we really not accommodate each reader? Is that really not in our power to appeal to both types of people here?


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 12:18 pm 
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If you need a newspaper to tell you where to buy rain boots I'm afraid your problems are much deeper than any mere newspaper can solve.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 12:25 pm 
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And that kind of arrogance is maybe exactly why nobody's reading the newspaper.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 12:32 pm 
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What arrogance? Advertising is so ubiquitous nowadays that you literally have to be deaf and blind to avoid it. And at least where I live, there's a Payless Shoes on pretty much every block.

Which reminds me, I need some new shoes. And lucky for me, there's a Payless just down the block... be back in a few.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 1:26 pm 
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If we consider advertising informative enough that we no longer need consumer reporting, that's a problem. Seems to me that Consumer Reports has done well offering just that kind of information.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 1:46 pm 
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Perhaps I took the "where to buy rainboots" question too literally; advertising is surely informative enough to tell you that. Now if you want to know where to get the best quality rain boots for the price, that's a different question, and one better answered by, say, Consumer Reports, sure.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 8:03 pm 
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The rain boots reference is one I keep hearing here in discussions for developing a consumer page. I, for one, despise consumer-oriented coverage, so I often use it when I need an example for what I, for one, think is wrong with newspapers. I do agree with what lfelaco is saying.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 9:20 pm 
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That's what I hate about TV news, especially your local news where everyone's a "neighbor" and us good folks at the station are about to tell you how to: eat, raise your kids, drive, prepare for winter, fall, summer, spring.
It makes me sick.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 9:31 pm 
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Yup. If I wanted to know what my "neighbors" were thinking about something, I would ask them. I wouldn't look in a newspaper or turn on a TV for it.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 11:04 am 
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To answer dangermike's question, "Why can't newspapers provide investigative reporting and information on rain boots?" let me just quote the old cliche, "Jack of all trades, master of none." I need reporters to be experts in their beat and ferret out the information that I can't get on my own. Rain boots I can manage myself, thank you.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 12:37 pm 
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So your ideal newspaper would contain only investigative reporting? Sounds like an awful paper to me that would appeal to just a very few people. But whatever. That's just ridiculous.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 12:47 pm 
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I never said there could only be one newspaper, though that would seem to be the direction current trends are heading, doesn't it.

I guess for me it comes down to this: If it's crap you're looking for, look on the Internet. But if trees are going to be cut down to diseminate the information, it better be for something more important than selling rainboots.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 9:53 pm 
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Quote:
So your ideal newspaper would contain only investigative reporting?


I am not saying anything like this, and as far as I can tell no one else is, either. What I am is saying is that I don't think it's a newspaper's job to give out consumer information.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 12:18 pm 
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When I started reading newspapers, probably when I was in junior high, I started with the advice columns, the cartoons and a consumer column where the paper helped people with commercial disputes, from repairs or refunds for merchandise to landlord-tenant disagreements over security deposits. I learned a lot from the consumer column.

I got so I read the whole paper, but I still like reading feature articles. A local newspaper trying to serve a wide range of readers should offer a wide range of content. Take the news stories seriously and do a quality job. Take the feature and "lifestyle" stories seriously, too. Readers have varied interests.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 10:04 pm 
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Location: Southern California
Tell the soon-to-be graduate to do what any smart person does when looking for a job: Look for a workplace that's stable and growing and has a sustainable business model. Not impossible in journalism; I have one such job. A safe bet right now, I'd say, is with wire services. Also, look for papers with an eye toward the Economist model -- that paper/magazine will be successful for a long time. Papers that can pull off something similar would be a great place to work.

In fact, I think the only journalism job I'd want if I leave the one I'm in would be with the Economist. Wishful thinking, right? But hey, a copy editor can dream.


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