Saturday, February 6, 2010

Copy editors: the disappearing gatekeepers

Only about five years ago, John McIntyre oversaw approximately four dozen editors as copy desk chief at the Baltimore Sun. By the time he was laid off last year, there were six.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was a daily columnist at a major metropolitan newspaper for more than three decades. The third or fourth year, I began writing my own headlines because the copy editors did such a lousy job of that very simple task. If I wrote a humorous column, some copy editor would invariably shorten it by cutting it from the bottom, thus editing out the punch line. Once a copy editor changed "Carry Nation" to "Carrie Nation." When I asked why, he said, "Because 'Carry' would be perceived as an error by the readers." (I kid you not.) I could go on for hours ... my point being -- spare me, please, the phony claim that copy editors are necessary for producing a quality product. I cringed every time I delivered my column to the copy desk from Day One to Day 12,045.