Press Association Event Preview

From the New England Newspaper & Press Association’s online bulletin (second one down):

‘Copy editing basics for today’s (multiplatform) newspapers’

James Franklin began his career almost 40 years ago as a copy editor at The Boston Globe, in a much different news-media environment.

Now, as assistant night editor at the Globe, Franklin is responsible for supervising and training editors.

In a presentation scheduled for 3:45 to 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 11, at the New England Newspaper and Press Association’s winter convention, Franklin and a panel of Boston Globe colleagues will talk about methods for copy editing in today’s newsrooms.

“We’re going to be talking about catches, lack of information, and misinformation,” among other things, Franklin said. “They’re the fundamental work of copy editing.”

Using anecdotes from their experiences, the panelists will discuss what can go wrong in copy editing as well as ways to fix those shortcomings and prevent copy editors from harming a story, Franklin said.

Franklin himself will talk about last-minute corrections.

“You have very little latitude in order to make the fixes,” he said. “Sometimes copy editors make (a problem) worse in trying to fix something.”

Preventing errors while still fixing an initial problem is a fine line to walk, Franklin said. He said he hopes that the session will help copy editors understand potential problems and teach them how to avoid those problems while improving a story overall.

In a second session scheduled for 9 to 10:15 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 12, Franklin will lead a discussion on the training of copy editors. In today’s rapidly evolving media environment, it is important to teach an adaptable skill set, Franklin said.

One way to improve training is to have more resources available to New England copy editors, Franklin said. He noted that although the American Copy Editors Association is active in many regions of the country, it is relatively inactive in the Northeast. Franklin said he hopes to discuss how to bring more training resources to the region’s copy editors to help them work in today’s news environment.

“We have to keep the papers at the same level of quality while we focus and spend more time on the electronic products,” Franklin said.


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