Overview

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 ...

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Contemporary Editing

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Addresses the many facets of newspaper editing from grammar and design to questions of ethics in a multimedia culture. The textbook's 16 chapters are organized into three parts: basic skills; special issues in copy editing; and editing issues beyond the story itself, including photographs, graphics, page design, and Web editing. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781135941413
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 10/15/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 440
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Cecilia Friend is Professor of Journalism at Utica College. She has been teaching journalism for more than 25 years. Before that she spent 10 years as a reporter and editor. Since, she has continued to serve as an editor in various capacities and a writing and design coach. She is the co-author of "Online Journalism Ethics: Traditions and Transitions," published in 2007.

Donald Challenger is a writer, editor and teacher who most recently served as college editor at Hamilton College. He has worked for more than 30 years in newspaper and magazine journalism and has taught journalism and writing as an adjunct professor in several programs, including Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.

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Table of Contents

Preface xvii
Part 1 Approaching the Story 1
Chapter 1 Focus on fundamentals: The editor within 2
Editing is Reading with an Attitude 2
The Editor Emerges 4
The Editor Shifts From Me to We 7
What Editors do and Why It Matters 8
The Editor's Changing Role: From Print to Multimedia 12
The Changing News and News Judgment 18
Preparing to be an Editor 22
Chapter 2 Focus on news judgment: The editor's attitude 25
The Editor Steps Forward 25
The Editor's Attitude 26
News Values and News Judgment 30
Applying the News Values 36
News Judgment in Action 37
Doing the Right Thing: Fairness and Ethics 41
The Starting Point: Your Stylebook 51
A Look Around the Newsroom 52
Chapter 3 Focus on skills and tools: The editor in the newsroom 56
The News is in the Details 56
Skills for Today's Copy Editor 58
Organization: the Shape of the Story 65
Accuracy: the Substance of the Story 73
Numbers in the News 82
Tools for Today's Editor 90
Chapter 4 Focus on grammar: The mechanics of language 100
Why Grammar Matters 100
What are Grammar, Style and Usage? 102
Building Grammar Skills Step By Step 104
Sentences: Putting the Parts Together 130
Punctuation 137
Chapter 5 Focus on good writing: Strong and graceful prose 151
Correct Writing and Good Writing 151
Style and Usage: Let the Writer's Voice Be Heard 153
The Editor's Role: Seeing the Details and Hearing the Song 153
Clarity Through Word Usage: Be Simple, Be Brief 156
Misused Words 164
More on Quotations and Attributions 176
Building Graceful Sentences 185
Part 2 Inside the Story 199
Chapter 6 News close to home: Editing local stories and community news 200
The Importance of Local News 200
What's Different About Local News? 203
The Characteristics of Strong Local News 205
Raising the Standards in Community News 219
The Debate Over Civic Journalism 228
Chapter 7 News from afar: Editing wire stories 235
News From Afar 235
Looking Inside the Wire 238
The Wire Editor's Tasks 239
Reading and Selecting Wire Stories 247
Editing and Trimming Wire Stories 250
Chapter 8 Making a long story short: Editing for brevity and clarity 267
Cutting Stories Without Cutting Corners 267
Old Tools for New Needs 269
Thinking Through the Story 272
Editing Briefs: The Shortest of the Short 294
Chapter 9 After the fact: Editing features and more complex story forms 305
Feature Editing is Creative Editing 305
Features, News and News Features: Some Distinctions 307
The Feature Editor and the Feature Writer 308
Changing Priorities: News Values and More 311
Leads and Language in Features 315
Focus and Organization in Features 328
Chapter 10 No safety in numbers: Poll and survey stories 339
Polls Can REflect or Distort Public Opinion 339
A Primer on Polling 340
Key Concepts in Poll Results 343
Bias in the Questioning Process 346
Scientific and Nonscientific Polls 356
The Impact of Polls on the Public 361
Chapter 11 Doing justice: Legal issues, ethics and bias 367
The Lessons of 1998 367
Developing A Sense of What is Right 370
The Concept of Libel 376
The Right to Privacy 386
Ethical Guidelines 389
Part 3 Beyond the Story 403
Chapter 12 Headlines: Precision, power and poetry 404
The Voice of Authority 404
What Headlines Do 405
Getting Started: Headline Basics 406
The Language of Headlines 410
Four Stages of Headline Writing 412
Intention: What Good Headlines Must Do 413
Approach: What Good Headlines Should Do 421
Mechanics: Compressing Meaning, Maintaining Clarity 424
Structure: Headlines on the Page and Screen 435
Chapter 13 An eye for news: Editing photos 447
The Power of Pictures 447
Image and Reality 451
Selecting Photos 452
Ethical and Legal Issues 458
Cropping and Sizing Photos 468
Writing Cutlines 475
Chapter 14 Showing the story: Editing information graphics 481
The Value of Showing the Story 481
Types of Information Graphics 483
Data and Distortion 494
Editing Text in Infographics 504
Chapter 15 The balancing act: Designing pages 509
Communicating Through Design 509
Why Design Matters 510
Design Concepts 516
Story Design with and Without Art 522
From the Module to the Page 530
Typography: the Visual Dimension of Words 535
Advanced Issues in Design 539
Laying Out Inside Pages 546
Color Considerations 548
Chapter 16 From gatekeeper to guide: Online news and 21st-century editing 556
The Leap from the Page to the Screen 556
Audience, Advertising and Ethics: New Realities Online 561
The News and the Newsroom Go Online 567
Adapting Your Skills to Online Editing 577
The Web, Free Speech and Democracy 585
Appendix A Frequently Misused Words 593
Appendix B Glossary 597
Appendix C Sample Dummy Sheets 607
Acknowledgments 611
Index 613
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