Thursday, April 21, 2016

Every writer needs an editor. Or, why subs are worth their weight in gold

I am a huge, huge fan of Poynter. In my opinion, it is the No. 1 journalism site. Which is why there are numerous pieces on The Reading Room that refer to articles that were first published on

The most recent Poynter post is a brilliant example of writing that not only promotes good journalism but also offers a new way to think about some of the processes involved in putting together a good story. The post, by Alison MacAdam, is titled "Journalism has an editing crisis, but we can do something about it".

Unfortunately, the column is also a good example of the time-honoured dictum: Every writer (including Alison MacAdam) needs an editor.

Here are the comments I posted after I read the column this morning:

Ramesh Prabhu  4 hours ago In India, too, there is an immense lack of strong editors. Which is why I tell my students (I teach journalism at a media college in Bangalore) good subs, or copy editors, are worth their weight in gold. Having said that, may I point out an editing error in this piece? "We now create far more content that any reasonable human being could ever read..." should have been edited to read "We now create far more content than any reasonable human being could ever read..."
Ramesh Prabhu  4 hours ago Also, "...we’re 'creating content' for 25-34 year-old women or Latino millennials" should have been edited to read "...we’re 'creating content' for 25- to 34-year-old women or Latino millennials." Suspensive hyphenation, anyone?

I'm not the only one who has spotted errors in the article:
MM Greene  Hugh Vandivier  8 hours ago Don't forget the three misplaced cases of "only." Look, editors exist!

N.B: Don't let the editing issues detract from the sound argument Alison MacAdam is making on behalf of editors. You can read the post in its entirety here.

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