I encourage you to read the full post, A future for copy editors. But I’ll note some highlights here:
- John supports my call for efficiency in copy editing, telling “middle-initial fetishists” and AP-style cultists to “Stop wasting time on things that don’t matter much.” What does matter? John answers: “Let me remind you that it is possible for an article to be perfectly grammatical and conform to every last guideline in the AP Stylebook and still be dull, unclear, superficial, plagiarized, fabricated, or libelous.”
- John also agrees with me that copy editors overuse pun headlines that are lost on those humorless search engines: “On the printed page, you have elements, such as secondary headlines, photos, display quotes, and the like, to give a clever headline context.”
- John and I also agree on the importance of copy editors training themselves in new skills.
- I won’t quote from John’s private advice to copy editors (he asked the rest of us to step outside for a moment, but I listened through the transom), except to say it was right on the mark.
- On this, John and I fully agree: “if you are serious about the craft and about continuing to practice it, you will have to take more responsibility for your own career.”
That last point is good advice for every journalist. And it always was.