Sunday, February 04, 2007
Resorting the news
Melanie Sill, the executive editor at The News & Observer, is telling readers about a reorganization of the newsroom to address the rapid changes in the profession. As Sill puts it:

We're no longer a newspaper with a Web site. We're a newsroom producing print and online publications.

The N&O's new newsroom is not as radical as Gannett's information centers, and Sill doesn't say much about the role of copy editing, which is a question that needs to be answered. It's clear, however, that the evolution of professional news organizations will affect everyone working in journalism.
posted by Andy Bechtel at 1:59 PM | Permalink |


  • At 6:38 PM, Blogger Rimshot

    Well, her apparent lack of concern for online copy editors helps to explain why the N&O Web site recently had the headline "Licence to Travel" on its home page FOR DAYS. I tried to wade through it to figure out whom to notify, to no avail.

    This topic makes me absolutely apoplectic.

    I realize we're in the realm of creating a new future for newspapers and non-paper news delivery media -- and the people who work for them -- but why are copy editors routinely being left out of the equation? If nothing else, news organizations ought to be really concerned about Brand X and its credibility, regardless of the mediums used -- paper, online or whatever else hasn't been invented yet -- regardless of whether we're talking about the N&O, the New York Times or the Podunk Bugle.

    To paraphrase a former colleague, new ventures create all sorts of new ways for us to get stuff wrong. Copy editors have specific experience and expertise in putting a newspaper to bed every night -- why would they not be included in putting breaking news online, editing copy in the usual ways, writing headlines suitable for online presentation and editing photo captions? Why can't some copy editors at dailies be allocated to work days? Why is it apparently not as important to edit copy that is, given the current impetus, more important to the powers that be to put in front of readers?

    When did getting stories first become more important than getting them right?