From North Carolina to South America

In late 2001, when I was wire editor at The News & Observer, I proposed (or pitched, as we called it) a story about Argentina's financial crisis for the front page. It was a hard sell, because I had to make the case for why it mattered to readers in North Carolina. The story ended… Continue reading From North Carolina to South America

Editing and explaining the news

Editing encompasses more than just fixing errors of style, spelling and grammar in news stories. Editing to explain concepts to readers is also important. The editing of two recent stories shows a need for further explanation. Let's take a look: THE STORY: Greece's debt crisis. WHAT NEEDS EXPLAINING: Why this is happening and why it… Continue reading Editing and explaining the news

Guest post: Telling the story without text

Students in JOMC 457, Advanced Editing, will write guest posts for this blog this semester. This is the second of those posts. Brecken Branstrator is a senior journalism major from Greensboro, N.C. Her passion is magazines, and she is an editorial intern at the Carolina Alumni Review. When you first see a huge block of… Continue reading Guest post: Telling the story without text

Two takes on the Edwards scandal

How does traditional newswriting differ from blogging? It's not always clear cut, because some bloggers write in the same straight-ahead style as The Associated Press. Others have attitude. The latest news in the rise and fall of John Edwards offers some insight into blogging versus straight news. The story is about a new book by… Continue reading Two takes on the Edwards scandal

Editing for the future with News21

I've spent part of my summer working with 12 talented students at UNC-Chapel Hill on Powering A Nation, a Web site that looks at the intersection of energy and demographics. The site, which debuted Friday, is part of the News21 project. As one of several faculty coaches, I advised the project's editing team on issues… Continue reading Editing for the future with News21

An open letter to Madoff on the front page

A front-page story in The News & Observer last week set off an unusual exchange of letters to the editor. The news was the arrival of financier Bernard Madoff at a federal prison in Butner, N.C. The letters weren't about Madoff so much as the tone and approach of the story, which was written as… Continue reading An open letter to Madoff on the front page

Copy editors are storytellers too

Pam Robinson at Words at Work has taken note of yet another article about the future of newspapers. This piece, posted on The Moderate Voice, mentions some ill-considered advice from an editor at a New Jersey newspaper: Restructure the newsroom. Half of the journalists are involved in the “processing” of news — copy editing, writing… Continue reading Copy editors are storytellers too