Tuesday, April 29, 2008

So you think you know everything about copy editing?


in review

Smokin' ACES
Denver national conference
a blog series by Andrew C. Knapp

This is a summary of some of my professional experiences at the 2008 national conference of the American Copy Editors Society in Denver. These posts range from the theoretical - ideas about the direction of copy editing - to the practical - a step-by-step guide to editing and headline writing on a tight deadline. This series is directed toward my co-workers at FLORIDA TODAY, other newspaper editors or just anyone who wants to learn something about copy editing.

Copy editing honcho rails against 'wacko' ideas and the people who think them out loud
ACES President Chris Weinandt of the Dallas Morning News kicked off the ACES conference with a little rabble-rousing - well, as much "rabble-rousing" that is possible for copy editors. The idea to outsource copy editing is just ridiculous, everyone agreed.

Newspapers must get dumb to make us smart
Our eyes float toward the visual. Alternative story forms aid comprehension.

Know-it-all copy editors ask, 'What's RSS?'
Copy editors are supposed to know a lot. We are the masters of all. But many at a session I attended were clueless as to how programs such as iGoogle gather headlines through RSS.

Life after journalism would be the death of me
Being a low-level celebrity and meeting high-level celebrities such as Dan Rather are cool parts about being a journalist. These moments make journalism a difficult career to abandon. But there are ways in which copy editors should diversify their skills and knowledge.

Copy editors are stuck in middle of new media
It's difficult to say what role copy editors will play in this new-mingled-media landscape. Will we be editing more? Will we be sitting on the sidelines? Or will we be stuck somewhere in the middle?

Ex-Freep editor is fond of the weird and short
Alex Cruden, longtime editor at another Gannett publication, the Detroit Free Press, reflected on his 40 years in daily journalism. He talked about how it's important to accentuate what makes news, news, and to use short sentences. He provided a step-by-step guide to copy editing.

Words will be words, unless your dictionary says otherwise (but it probably doesn't)
Dictionaries offer some fuel for debate and are often the main weapons of copy editors when attempting to shoot holes in a reporter's deranged word usage. But copy editors should remember: Just because a word is in the dictionary, we don't necessarily have the right to use it.

Trimming fat is big part of copy desk's job
This post is pretty straightforward. Copy editors often are charged with trimming large stories into smaller ones, sometimes considerably smaller ones. Here are a few tips.

Florida Today, small papers stand among giants of online editing
Surprisingly, many smaller newspapers do just as good at editing online stories as the larger papers. I talked about online editing at FLORIDA TODAY.

Premier editing professor Ed Trayes gets it
Temple University professor Ed Trayes has spent decades training young journalists. He knows that it is the flexibility of copy editors in adapting to new media that will determine our future. His keynote address offers several points for us to ponder about the changes in the industry.

Rocky Mountain News-Denver Post tour
On the final day of the conference, a few nice guys from the Rocky Mountain News and The Denver Post took a large group of editors on a tour of their not-so-humble abodes. Our two guides each tried to convince us that their half of the building was better than the other.

The lighter side of Denver

The following are some of my personal experiences at ACES. These posts are directed at anyone who cares.

Offlede visits real city, can't escape tropical 'plants'
Living in Florida makes me miss real cities with culture. Denver was nice, but I couldn't escape tropical trees.

I'm from Florida; what's all this white stuff?
It snowed in Denver. Co-worker Beth, who has been stuck in Florida her whole life, has never experienced snow to such a large scale: 1 inch.

What food is Denver known for? Mac 'n' chicken, apparently
I was looking for something different on the menu, and I found the mac 'n' chicken, pasta shells smothered in a few types of cheese and mixed with chunks of white and dark chicken meat. It was weird, but at least the carrot cake was good.

Not cool: Hot shower burns at Marriott in Denver
The stream of hot water it spits at me each morning at the Marriott Denver City Center is quite enjoyable, until things go south. About twice during each shower, I have been burned by a burst of extremely hot water.

Copy editing = great; copy editing with a view = even better
I just wanted to pass on a few photos of the view from atop the building.

Denver food disappoints; Burger King has its number
I didn't see any Rocky Mountain oysters (bull testicles) on the Rialto menu, but I still wanted beef for my lunch. It would have been a shame to leave Denver without having beef. So I went with the "Rialto Burger." It was burned and dry.

So long to Denver's mediocre food, time difference, cold air
My blood obviously has thinned during my seven months in Florida. Denver's cold, dry air didn't go over so well.


Anonymous said...

I think you forgot the one about picking up your co-worker from the airport.


Andrew Knapp said...

That's tangential.

I don't think she reads this blog anyway. So she probably doesn't care.