editing for the media

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Editing for the Media. Class Introduction. Getting started. About me Contact info / need your email addresses Required texts and optional reading Class schedule and syllabus (handout) Project: 5-page plus written analysis and short oral presentation (handout) - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Editing for the MediaClass Introduction

  • Getting startedAbout meContact info / need your email addressesRequired texts and optional readingClass schedule and syllabus (handout)Project: 5-page plus written analysis and short oral presentation (handout)Course Web site: www.mycoursesite.com/mcgrath

  • Grading(7) Story exercises get a numerical grade (100 points each). Serious errors result in an automatic D- or F (usually a 60)(6) AP exercises (100 pts each) and (10) current events quizzes (20 pts each for 200 points)Project (200 points)Take-home final (300 points)Overall score: 2,000 points (divide by 20)Extra credit (next slide), bonus points day Absences and late work (10 points off for every day the work is late)

  • Extra creditExtra story editing exercises can be worked to boost a gradeWord editing exercises to boost AP or current events gradesBoo-boo gems: Significant errors (more than simple typos, duped words) you find in print, online or elsewhere that you bring in will earn 3 points on story grades. Three boo-boos equal a letter grade.Headline drills (5 optional exercises)

  • The editors worldWhat do these editors do to earn that paycheck anyway?

  • The Editors WorldThey take a real close look at things, of course sometimes two or three times if necessary.

  • EditingNot only do editors look at stories, headlines, layouts, etc. closely, but they have to look at them with different eyes. What does that mean? Editors represent the reader / information consumer. The editor makes sure the material is suitable in discernability and taste for the majority of the target audience. Editors want to avoid trouble and because that trouble can come at you from any number of directions, you need to have your eyes on a swivel.

    Metaphorically speaking, learning the basics of newswriting was like learning to drive. Editing skills help you learn to be a defensive driver and stay out of trouble.

    What else do editors do? Take a look

  • Well, they dont just sit around smoking cigars all day, thats for sure. And by the way, more and more women are copy editors and senior editors. Just look around the room and youll see why.

  • Editors have a lot of decisions to make some big, some small. They may affect just the newsroom staff or all readers / viewers / customers.

  • Editors have to be good planners. How much room is needed for Super Bowl coverage? How many people are needed to work on Election Night? How do we cover the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11? Some decisions must be weighed carefully.

  • Some editors have to reallys-q-u-e-e-z-eto fit the days content into the space available or the time allowed.(Note the baby on board!)

  • Often, an editor finds themselves putting out fires between colleagues and reporters, with other departments, with production staff, with supervising editors or with disgruntled readers / viewers.

  • Editors are supervisors. Sometimes the editor has to chew some tail to get things done as they should be. But remember, its better to praise in public and criticize in private.

  • Editors also have to be wordsmiths, making words work with visuals. And a bit of wordplay is one of the most enjoyable parts of an editors job.

  • A good editor knows there are different points of view out there. Its a diverse world, with different tastes, likes, needs as well. One editor said if we put out a paper that contains only the stuff that he likes, then we would only need to print one copy.

  • A good editor knows that, sadly, you wont be able to educate everyone. Whether its reporters or readers, sometimes they just wont get the message. So you just try to reach those you can.Yes, that is indeed a surge protector floating on a pair of sandals. Obviously, more beer is needed here.

  • But theres always some days when you just have to say: How did we get into this mess? Thank goodness, we can start over fresh tomorrow.

  • The Editors WorldEditing is taking something someone else has created and then molding it so it can be presented in its best form. Editors almost always work with material originated by someone else.There is micro-editing and macro-editing. Micro-editing would include spelling, style, fact checking etc. Macro-editing takes a broader view.The editor comes between the information-gathering stage and the information-receiving stage.

  • For those of us in or going into the communications racket, what is that widget we run off the assembly line each day, that product that we sell? Information. We try to transport information from Point A to Point B, whether by print or electronic means. A ------------- (editor) -------------- BBBBBBBB (readers)Note that those Bs out there gather and assimilate information in different ways and according to their own filters. They process the information in different ways; some info they always let in and some they wont.

  • Editing is a by-product of the translation theory of communication. Communication is the transfer of an intended message, generally through language. This process can be divided into two broad stages: transmission (speaking, writing) and reception (listening, reading). But there are two other stages here that are of interest to the translation theorist; before transmission, the message must be formulated accurately (coherence) and after reception, the message must be understood accurately (assimilation). The editor helps create accuracy and understanding. To do so successfully, this theory implies that the editor not only know about forming messages, but be knowledgeable of diverse audiences

  • Qualities of a good editorEditors should have: ConfidenceObjectivityAwareness of readershipDiplomacyBe able to write well

    Good sense of what matters Sense of humorAwareness of the workplace/newsroomCuriosityBreadth of knowledge

  • Qualities of a good newspaper/magazine/newscast/webcastTry the acronym APE

    Analytical: It explains what stories mean to its readers, gives context. Practical: It does the things you expect, like give a weather report, tell what the city council did last night, list who is running for office, etc. Emotional or entertaining: It doesnt forget to get a chuckle now and then or tug on the heartstrings.

    (HINT: This is a good guide for your project papers)

  • Decisions, decisionsEditors have to make a variety of decisions:Because of time and space constraints, how much of a story gets usedWhat words go into the display type (heds, promos, cutlines)What art elements are necessaryWho covers what storyEthical / legal concernsEditorial stances

  • Decisions, decisionsSometimes simple word choice decisions arent so simple. After the Supreme Court rendered its ruling on the 2000 election, the Chronicle debated between a lead headline of:

    Bush wins presidency or ..Bush obtains presidency

    We went with the latter, to some criticism.

  • Marketing issuesMarketing your productMarketing yourself

  • Marketing issuesFor those of us in the communications industry -- in whatever facet thereof - information is the product we have to sell. Not only is the content of information important to our success, but how its presented is vital as well. Those of you with the most polished communications skills will have a decided advantage toward obtaining jobs and promotions than those with lesser abilities.

  • A tighter marketMaking yourself more marketable is extremely important in the ever-changing communications arena. In 1920, 700 U.S. cities boasted more than one competing newspaper. About 10 years ago (1997), there were more than 50 cities in the U.S. with at least two competing newspapers. Now there are about 15 -- fewer than 4 percent of U.S. cities have competing papers under separate ownership.

    Media consolidation and corporate ownership has certainly played a role in reshaping the communications landscape as well

  • On the broadcast frontTelevisionWestinghouse bought CBS (1995), then later merged with Viacom (1999).Rupert Murdochs News Corp. owns Fox News Disney has ABCGeneral Electric has NBCTime-Warner has CNN

    RadioClear Channel Communications of San Antonio owns about 1,500 stations in the U.S.Viacoms Infinity Broadcasting is No. 2 with 185 stations.

  • Dealing with changeNewspapers arent just newspapers anymore; they are information platforms. More and more, newspapers and other mediums are incorporating podcasts, vodcasts, blogs into the information-delivery mix. We live in the age of convergence, and the need for a variety of skills is greater than ever before. Comm shop managers dont want folks who are just news reporters or ad writers anymore, they want folks who can also write blogs, create videos or post content to the Web.

  • Finding alternativesAdditionally, newspapers are exploring other means of reaching consumers who shun their primary product, offering free tabloids like the RedEye (Chicago Tribune) and Quick (Dallas Morning News) or, in the case of Orange County, a pay-for tab (the OC Post).

    The Chicago Sun-Times started the streak as a competitor to the RedEye, but it folded.

  • More alternativeshttp://www.chron.com/content/chronicle/sports/football/video/06/12/26/video.html

    The Chronicles editor, Jeff Cohen, has given a speech on how John McClain, a Chron sports writer, has saved journalism. McClain, who writes for the paper, does a blog, writes for various football Web site and has even appeared in movies (The Longest Yard remake), is one of the lead characters in these ongoing video logs (vlogs) on the Chronicle Web site. Some of these vlogs are informational and some are merely entertain