Contemporary Editing / Edition 2

Contemporary Editing / Edition 2

by Cecilia Friend, Don Challenger, Katherine C. McAdams

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ISBN-10: 0072853980

ISBN-13: 9780072853988

Pub. Date: 07/28/2004

Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies, The

We live in the Information Age, surrounded by news and information from more sources and with greater frequency than ever before. In such an environment, good editing is essential, for the editor's task is to manage information. Whether by checking facts, editing copy, choosing photos or designing pages, the editor is inextricably involved in the process of


We live in the Information Age, surrounded by news and information from more sources and with greater frequency than ever before. In such an environment, good editing is essential, for the editor's task is to manage information. Whether by checking facts, editing copy, choosing photos or designing pages, the editor is inextricably involved in the process of shaping the news. To ensure the accuracy and quality of the news, editors need a broad array of skills. Advances in online journalism and the vast array of resources available mean that contemporary editors need the skills and context to deal with the changing nature of news. At the same time, traditional copy-editing skills are more important than ever.

Contemporary Editing offers a balanced approach to news editing, emphasizing that good news judgment is the key to making editorial decisions and recognizing that a combination of traditional and emerging skills is the best approach to the news today. Part 1, Approaching the Story, provides general insights into the editing process, explains the copy editor's place in the newsroom, offers an extensive grammar review and extends your knowledge of good writing practices. Part 2, Inside the Story, gives more specialized treatment to a number of editing tasks and story forms, including local news, wire stories, polls and surveys, briefs and features, as well as writing headlines and the legal and ethical issues surrounding a story. Part 3, handling photos and information graphics, designing pages and editing on the World Wide Web.

By providing step-by-step editing techniques, practical exercises, and a solid basis in news judgment, Contemporary Editing will equip you with the skills to edit the news.

Product Details

McGraw-Hill Companies, The
Publication date:
Edition description:
Older Edition
Product dimensions:
7.30(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Part 1Approaching the Story1
Chapter 1Focus on fundamentals: The editor within2
Editing is Reading with an Attitude2
The Editor Emerges4
The Editor Shifts From Me to We7
What Editors do and Why It Matters8
The Editor's Changing Role: From Print to Multimedia12
The Changing News and News Judgment18
Preparing to be an Editor22
Chapter 2Focus on news judgment: The editor's attitude25
The Editor Steps Forward25
The Editor's Attitude26
News Values and News Judgment30
Applying the News Values36
News Judgment in Action37
Doing the Right Thing: Fairness and Ethics41
The Starting Point: Your Stylebook51
A Look Around the Newsroom52
Chapter 3Focus on skills and tools: The editor in the newsroom56
The News is in the Details56
Skills for Today's Copy Editor58
Organization: the Shape of the Story65
Accuracy: the Substance of the Story73
Numbers in the News82
Tools for Today's Editor90
Chapter 4Focus on grammar: The mechanics of language100
Why Grammar Matters100
What are Grammar, Style and Usage?102
Building Grammar Skills Step By Step104
Sentences: Putting the Parts Together130
Chapter 5Focus on good writing: Strong and graceful prose151
Correct Writing and Good Writing151
Style and Usage: Let the Writer's Voice Be Heard153
The Editor's Role: Seeing the Details and Hearing the Song153
Clarity Through Word Usage: Be Simple, Be Brief156
Misused Words164
More on Quotations and Attributions176
Building Graceful Sentences185
Part 2Inside the Story199
Chapter 6News close to home: Editing local stories and community news200
The Importance of Local News200
What's Different About Local News?203
The Characteristics of Strong Local News205
Raising the Standards in Community News219
The Debate Over Civic Journalism228
Chapter 7News from afar: Editing wire stories235
News From Afar235
Looking Inside the Wire238
The Wire Editor's Tasks239
Reading and Selecting Wire Stories247
Editing and Trimming Wire Stories250
Chapter 8Making a long story short: Editing for brevity and clarity267
Cutting Stories Without Cutting Corners267
Old Tools for New Needs269
Thinking Through the Story272
Editing Briefs: The Shortest of the Short294
Chapter 9After the fact: Editing features and more complex story forms305
Feature Editing is Creative Editing305
Features, News and News Features: Some Distinctions307
The Feature Editor and the Feature Writer308
Changing Priorities: News Values and More311
Leads and Language in Features315
Focus and Organization in Features328
Chapter 10No safety in numbers: Poll and survey stories339
Polls Can REflect or Distort Public Opinion339
A Primer on Polling340
Key Concepts in Poll Results343
Bias in the Questioning Process346
Scientific and Nonscientific Polls356
The Impact of Polls on the Public361
Chapter 11Doing justice: Legal issues, ethics and bias367
The Lessons of 1998367
Developing A Sense of What is Right370
The Concept of Libel376
The Right to Privacy386
Ethical Guidelines389
Part 3Beyond the Story403
Chapter 12Headlines: Precision, power and poetry404
The Voice of Authority404
What Headlines Do405
Getting Started: Headline Basics406
The Language of Headlines410
Four Stages of Headline Writing412
Intention: What Good Headlines Must Do413
Approach: What Good Headlines Should Do421
Mechanics: Compressing Meaning, Maintaining Clarity424
Structure: Headlines on the Page and Screen435
Chapter 13An eye for news: Editing photos447
The Power of Pictures447
Image and Reality451
Selecting Photos452
Ethical and Legal Issues458
Cropping and Sizing Photos468
Writing Cutlines475
Chapter 14Showing the story: Editing information graphics481
The Value of Showing the Story481
Types of Information Graphics483
Data and Distortion494
Editing Text in Infographics504
Chapter 15The balancing act: Designing pages509
Communicating Through Design509
Why Design Matters510
Design Concepts516
Story Design with and Without Art522
From the Module to the Page530
Typography: the Visual Dimension of Words535
Advanced Issues in Design539
Laying Out Inside Pages546
Color Considerations548
Chapter 16From gatekeeper to guide: Online news and 21st-century editing556
The Leap from the Page to the Screen556
Audience, Advertising and Ethics: New Realities Online561
The News and the Newsroom Go Online567
Adapting Your Skills to Online Editing577
The Web, Free Speech and Democracy585
Appendix AFrequently Misused Words593
Appendix BGlossary597
Appendix CSample Dummy Sheets607

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