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How copy editors can dodge the red pen (and reporters can learn to wield it)

How copy editors can dodge the red pen (and reporters can learn to wield it)

Newsrooms from Montreal to Denver are editing out their copy desks to keep up with digital’s dual imperative: tight deadlines and tighter budgets.

Monday’s announcement by Postmedia Network means that dozens of copy editing jobs will be axed across Canada in coming weeks; Twitter speculation has it that 23 editors will be let go at the Montreal Gazette alone, reports the Huffington Post Canada.

Yesterday, Postmedia's the National Post offered a warning of the perils of doing away with copy editors when it mistakenly published a crossword puzzle that had already been filled in, revealed Poynter.

Meanwhile, no one at the Denver Post will hold the title of copy editor after June 15; the newspaper finalized a plan last week to dissolve the editorial assembly line and institute “self-publishing units,” reported Steve Myers of Poynter, in which reporters and editors from each desk build stories, from conception through to publishing.

Gregory Moore, editor of the Denver Post, told Myer that stories that used to be read six or seven times will now be read two or three times, and of the 23 people on the copy desk, 11 have accepted severance packages, and the rest have scattered into different posts.

The Contra Costa Times, which runs the operations of 10 regional newspapers within the Bay Area News Group, is also cutting back on copy editing. San Jose Mercury News Editor Dave Butler told Myers that the equivalent of 13 full-time copy editing positions had been cut at Contra Costa, and that the average number of total reads per story would drop from four to three.

For more on this story, please see our sister publication


Hannah Vinter


2012-05-30 17:20

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