The 12th annual conference of the American Copy Editors Society is over. Eyewitness accounts such as these from Jim Thomsen of The Kitsap Sun testify to the success of this year’s gathering. Here’s my “takeaway” and a look ahead:
- Going to great session after great session. I learned about the “Rules That Aren’t” and realized that yes, we have to do “All This and Ethics Too.”
- Seeing old friends and making new ones, including readers of this blog. (Hi, Eileen!)
- Bridging the gap with page designers by talking honestly about how we work together. (Thanks, Josh!)
- Discussing the identity of the organization and considering widening the scope of “copy editor” beyond the newspaper tradition of ACES.
- Checking out Red Rocks with a friend who’s a copy editor turned lawyer turning librarian.
- Drinking beer. It’s better in Colorado.
- Lower attendance.
- Declining membership.
- Malaise about the business side of journalism — countered by our dedication to what we do. It’s frustrating to see good journalists laid off and left out in the cold by hiring freezes.
The next conference is set for April 2009 in Minneapolis. As reflected by the state of the profession overall, ACES is in transition and has a lot of work to do. There’s no time for fiddling. Luckily, the leadership and membership understand the challenges ahead and are committed to taking them on.
On the lighter side, there’s also talk of an “editing smackdown” between Bill Walsh of The Washington Post and Merrill Perlman of The New York Times. This would be a marquee event, a clash of editing titans. I’m suggesting that my colleague Bill Cloud serve as referee.