Testy Copy Editors

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 Post subject: Job hunting suggestions
PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 12:49 pm 
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Location: San Jose, CA
I posted some at my home page.

It's going to be a rough summer, folks, especially with oil prices spanking the overall economy, but there are opportunities out there to be had if you're smart and flexible.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 5:25 pm 
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The choices are especially limited if your interest is "news," rather than mere language-repair work.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 5:25 pm 
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My advice, naturally, is to take a summer vacation and do something completely different for a while.

Surely newspaper execs will get their heads out of their asses one of these days, and the people who still remember what news is and how to edit it will be in demand again.

Who am I kidding.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 3:21 pm 
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Location: Cusp of retirement, grave or both
Heartodixie wrote:
My advice, naturally, is to take a summer vacation...

.


Oddly enough, the mortgage company is discouraging me from doing this.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 5:59 pm 
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Bumfketeer wrote:
Heartodixie wrote:
My advice, naturally, is to take a summer vacation...

.


Oddly enough, the mortgage company is discouraging me from doing this.


A vacation working outside the business, I mean.

Just so happens, one of the bosses at the contractor I'm temping for asked me the other day whether I was married or lived with my parents. His jaw kind of dropped when I said that I was alone and had a house to pay for. (That's entirely possible to do making $8 an hour -- as long as there's plenty of overtime, you don't have any other debt and you can live without eating occasionally.)

Speaking of other lines of work, the Hondurans doing asbestos abatement at our job site say they get paid pretty well.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 12:38 am 
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Heartodixie wrote:
My advice, naturally, is to take a summer vacation and do something completely different for a while.

Surely newspaper execs will get their heads out of their asses one of these days, and the people who still remember what news is and how to edit it will be in demand again.

Who am I kidding.

There is some truth in that but cycles take their time.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 5:32 pm 
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paulwiggins wrote:
There is some truth in that but cycles take their time.


That's where the "do something completely different" part comes in. Never know what else you like to do till you try other things. Me, I think I'm smitten by the building trades. Yesterday I was literally up to my eyeballs in bags of asbestos; today, my work included hauling a couple dozen buckets of drywall mud and running people up and down a 13-story apartment building on a mechanical lift. I can't stand how much I love shitty physical work after 15 years of battling my lack of skill and the industry's lack of interest in journalism.

(Just let them try to outsource floor-sweeping and materials handling to India.)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 7:22 pm 
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Location: Bethesda, Md.
If I wanted to get out of my field, I wouldn't bother with this Web site.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 9:46 am 
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Heartodixie wrote:
That's where the "do something completely different" part comes in. Never know what else you like to do till you try other things. Me, I think I'm smitten by the building trades. Yesterday I was literally up to my eyeballs in bags of asbestos; today, my work included hauling a couple dozen buckets of drywall mud and running people up and down a 13-story apartment building on a mechanical lift. I can't stand how much I love shitty physical work after 15 years of battling my lack of skill and the industry's lack of interest in journalism.


I have a sudden urge to watch "Office Space" again. Thank you, Heartodixie.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 12:44 pm 
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Location: San Jose, CA
Phillip Blanchard wrote:
If I wanted to get out of my field, I wouldn't bother with this Web site.


Here's the thing: the Field has gotten out of you. Notice how the copy editor openings have disappeared from JournalismJobs.com?

The SND folks have had their day, too. How much design does a web site need once a format is in place? Not enough to require a staff of full-time designers.

There is still some demand for editors out there .. not much compared to, say, the demand for marketing writers. This summer the fifth of the Tribune Company newsies shown the door will also show up on the job market.

Anybody who doesn't reinvent himself will have the marketplace do it for him; I'd rather be the one in charge of my reinventing, if at all possible.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 2:27 pm 
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Not to speak for my friend Mr. Blanchard, but some of us are copy editors, not inventors.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 2:55 pm 
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Bumfketeer wrote:
Not to speak for my friend Mr. Blanchard, but some of us are copy editors, not inventors.


Good for you... I suspect, though, that a lot of guys who made their living learning how to fix typewriters learned how to fix computers when their old business went away.

The newspapers that survive the current crisis will be nothing like the ones we've worked in for the past 20 years ... they'll be much more like the ones our grandparents read back when there was newspaper competition: terrible pay, terrible benefits, terrible hours. (It will, however, still be interesting work, though I expect there won't be much copy editing happening).

I'm not exactly huffing and puffing with excitement at the prospect.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 9:03 am 
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Only 20 years? I'm pushing 40 years at this point.

Well, Tom, as I said before, I will be rescued by retirement or death soon, so I will hang in until then.

I do find it interesting how quickly this trade began to vanish. And there was really no technological advance that caused it to do so, as was the case with printers.

There are reporters who seem overjoyed by it. I guess the next time one of them writes about the day Pearl Harbor was bombed - Dec. 7, 1951 - our readers will get a real education. (That was caught on the desk here.)

Interestingly, and not that it makes it any better, a friend I see a couple times a year who is a mailman gets the Wall Street Journal and reads it religiously. When I saw him a few weeks ago, he mentioned to me that he can't understand the sudden abundance of typos, grammatical errors and errors of fact he is seeing in that paper these days.

Not to put down mailmen, who are swell people doing a great job, but he is not a student of the language by any means. If he is noticing, just imagine what others are seeing....


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 Post subject: Even I Am Surprised
PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 9:29 am 
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The abundance of errors is astounding. The front pages of major newspapers are riddled by rookie mistakes. I didn't think the difference would be so noticeable, so quickly.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 2:20 pm 
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I apologize for sounding like another member of the doom-and-gloom chorus. I don't share the phony optimism of newspaper executives who have to put a pretty face on things... but I am optimistic that the folks who hang out here can pull through this and maybe even end up with a better gig when it all shakes out.

Main thing for me is to forget about the good old days. When the bad old days arrived, my craft got sold downriver, which I consider the marketplace's fair estimate of the value of my contributions. Which tells me, look for other markets.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 7:23 pm 
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Location: In the newsroom
Bumfketeer wrote:
Only 20 years? I'm pushing 40 years at this point.

Well, Tom, as I said before, I will be rescued by retirement or death soon, so I will hang in until then.

I do find it interesting how quickly this trade began to vanish. And there was really no technological advance that caused it to do so, as was the case with printers.

There are reporters who seem overjoyed by it. I guess the next time one of them writes about the day Pearl Harbor was bombed - Dec. 7, 1951 - our readers will get a real education. (That was caught on the desk here.)

Interestingly, and not that it makes it any better, a friend I see a couple times a year who is a mailman gets the Wall Street Journal and reads it religiously. When I saw him a few weeks ago, he mentioned to me that he can't understand the sudden abundance of typos, grammatical errors and errors of fact he is seeing in that paper these days.

Not to put down mailmen, who are swell people doing a great job, but he is not a student of the language by any means. If he is noticing, just imagine what others are seeing....


He is far from the only one of the "ordinary" folks who notice. Last summer when I was on vacation in SC, my car needed an unexpected repair. A nice, older (probably in his late 70s) man from the dealer drove me back to my friend's house, and in the course of our conversation he asked me about my job. I explained copy editing, and he, too, commented that there didn't seem to be much of that in the newspapers anymore, that he and his friends regularly see so many errors (this was in Charleston Post & Courier territory). When I told him how newspapers have gotten rid of so many editors and combined copy editing with pagination etc., he was horrified.


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 Post subject: Re: Even I Am Surprised
PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 7:27 am 
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Phillip Blanchard wrote:
The abundance of errors is astounding. The front pages of major newspapers are riddled by rookie mistakes. I didn't think the difference would be so noticeable, so quickly.


The more that copy editors obsess on the state of the industry and fear for their jobs, the less attention they pay to what they're editing. The increase in errors lately can be attributed mostly to short staffing and inexperience. Worse, if possible, is that the remaining, cowed, copy editors are much less likely to call "bullshit!"


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 9:20 am 
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I don't want to reprise the John Belushi speech, Phil, but I am not giving up. I'm still trying, though I freely admit that I don't really have time to read every word of inside wire stories in slot anymore.


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 Post subject: Re: Even I Am Surprised
PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 4:20 pm 
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Phillip Blanchard wrote:
Phillip Blanchard wrote:
The abundance of errors is astounding. The front pages of major newspapers are riddled by rookie mistakes. I didn't think the difference would be so noticeable, so quickly.


The more that copy editors obsess on the state of the industry and fear for their jobs, the less attention they pay to what they're editing. The increase in errors lately can be attributed mostly to short staffing and inexperience. Worse, if possible, is that the remaining, cowed, copy editors are much less likely to call "bullshit!"


That's what made me realize my time was up, seeing every department get cut to the bone leaving nothing but college students and bureaucrats to make the paper happen. When the remaining journalists on staff develop "the look" (scared, heads down, too "busy" to talk to anyone who's not immediately quotable for a story), that's when it's time to cut and run.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 5:35 pm 
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That's what made me realize my time was up, seeing every department get cut to the bone leaving nothing but college students and bureaucrats to make the paper happen. When the remaining journalists on staff develop "the look" (scared, heads down, too "busy" to talk to anyone who's not immediately quotable for a story), that's when it's time to cut and run.


This is the type of thing -- college students and bureaucrats -- that I think of when people say, "Oh, there'll always be newspapers!" There always will be. But I feel like I'm coming to the point that the newspaper I'm at is moving quickly to the type of newspaper I don't want to be at. Having done all I can to prevent that, I'm looking at options.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 12:40 am 
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There will always be nwespxapers.


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 Post subject: Re: Even I Am Surprised
PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 1:06 pm 
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Phillip Blanchard wrote:
The abundance of errors is astounding. The front pages of major newspapers are riddled by rookie mistakes. I didn't think the difference would be so noticeable, so quickly.

I ran into a former intern of ours on the Metro Friday evening and she told me of the latest deplorable typo she'd spotted in a Post headline--a "desserts" that ended up being rendered as "deserts." All I could tell her was what you said here, Number One.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 4:16 pm 
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Nessie3 wrote:
There will always be nwespxapers.


Especially if you could the advertising circulars printed on newsprint that end up in my driveway each week. I suppose some people read them.


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