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Posts Tagged ‘AP Style’

Mike Crist, a Digital First Media colleague at the Delaware County Daily Times, asked recently about the importance of editing as newsrooms change:

Good question, actually. I answered in a few tweets, but said it would probably be worth a blog post. So here goes:

Project Unbolt logoEverything has changed in newsrooms and Project Unbolt is designed to accelerate that change in Digital First newsrooms, “unbolting” from our newspaper-factory processes and developing new processes (and standards) for a newsroom primarily focused on producing digital content.

We still want rigorous editing, but how we edit will certainly change. If “rigor” means multiple layers of editing, like newspapers enjoyed back in the day, I believe that won’t be returning. Newsroom staff cuts have already reduced editing ranks, and Project Unbolt isn’t going to change that. If we’re successful in growing digital revenue, we can stop the staff reductions and perhaps grow someday. But unbolting needs to happen, whatever size staff we can maintain.

I do expect every journalist who handles any copy, starting with the reporter, to edit rigorously. Absolutely we need to write and edit grammatically and follow AP style (or a local newsroom’s style) in our stories. And verify our facts.

As I have noted before, reporters (and photojournalists who write cutlines and occasionally stories) need to take responsibility for the quality of their own writing. (more…)

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A friend consulting for a small newspaper chain asked my advice on a copy-editing issue. He noted inconsistency in editing, with many typos and errors in grammar and sentence structure. Copy didn’t follow AP style. “The credibility of the writer and publication can hang on the cleanliness of their copy, even at small papers,” the friend told the company.

His client responded with agreement that the criticism was valid, but asked how to achieve better editing, given the staffing levels. The friend asked my advice. My response (expanded and edited a bit for this blog post): (more…)

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