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Daily Archives: January 18, 2012

* High school editor: We get to be part of the Sundance scene and get kind of treated as a real newspaper

* ESPN’s become the dynasty it feels good to root against, but it’s the network we have to have

* Ombud: Curiously, many reporters were at Santorum event & only NPR reported his newsworthy black quote

* WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange discusses fight with NYT, talks future of journalism

* Huffington Post to launch live, over-the-Internet channel modeled after 24-hour cable news networks

* San Diego Union-Tribune editorial page “turned to mush under Platinum-Equity,” says ex-editor

“The money required to test recipes is probably not going to drain a paper’s budget. The food editors who were willing to share their figures — even ballpark ones — threw out numbers ranging from about $1,500 a month (San Francisco Chronicle) to $200 to $700 a week in groceries (Associated Press). The Washington Post spends more than $15,000 annually on testing for the entire paper.”
* And that’s why we test

Two sources tell me that Smithsonian magazine fired all six associate editors on Tuesday. I’ve asked editor-in-chief Michael Caruso to confirm this and comment on the account of the sackings, relayed by a friend of an axed editor [UPDATE: Caruso declined comment]:

Michael Caruso, the ed-in-chief at Smithsonian since October, laid off 6-8 people yesterday, including all 6 associate editors. They were the folks who did fact-checking and line editing – but several of them also wrote blogs, front-of-the-book items, and occasional features for the magazine.

Caruso apparently never bothered get to know or even meet the associate editors, and he referred to them as the “fact-checking” department, which belies a lack of understanding about what they did. Yesterday at 2pm [another source says it was 4 p.m. - Romenesko], he called them to a meeting, told them they were laid off, and then turned the room over to a rent-a-consultant who was supposed to help them find new jobs.

* Smithsonian editor-in-chief Carey Winfrey to retire (April 2011)
* Michael Caruso leaves WSJ to become Smithsonian’s top editor (October 2011)

[gview file="http://jimromenesko.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Microsoft-Word-Central-Desks-Memo-11812-_2_.doc.pdf"]

FROM THE MEMO:
Going forward, there will be two central desks — a metro desk located in Chicago and a community desk located in New England. The metro desk will produce newspapers with a circulation of 5,000 or more, while the community desk will produce pages for
publications with a circulation below 5,000 as well as all weeklies. Both desks will
contribute some digital content for local newspapers.

Stories about GateHouse’s plans are in WUIS News, Peoria Watchdog, Illinois Times.

The Crimson White weekly newspaper at the University of Alabama is looking for a copy editor. “I like people to understand what they’re getting into,” writes chief copy editor John Davis, “so the following is what I consider to be the five stages of life as a copy editor. Experiences may vary.”

Stage One: Doing your job, and genuinely caring

Stage Two: Getting increasingly frustrated at a writer’s inability to improve his or her writing

Stage Three: Questioning why you do the job as you hit the keyboard harder and harder with every correction.

Stage Four: Existential despair

Stage Five: Quiet reserve and acceptance of your role in life

Davis elaborates on those stages in his post and tells me in an email how he came up with his “Life Cycle” piece:

It started out as an idea for a column during the fall semester (I’m also a weekly columnist) with a bare bones outline of what the stages actually are.

John Davis

I had considered writing for a week in which I didn’t have anything else more pertinent to touch on, but on Monday the opinions editor came up to me at work asking if I could write something, because her two columnists for Tuesday’s paper never submitted anything. Since I happened to have the list of stages in front of me, I just went with that. It was really only good timing that we also needed a copy editor.

So far I’ve only had one inquiry [about the job opening], but the reception seems to be positive, at least among people I’ve spoken with.

* The Life Cycle of Copy Editing

St. Louis Post-Dispatch copy editor Ted Rodgers says he thought of “Barkis is willing” — from Charles Dickens’ “David Copperfield” — while trying to come up with a subhead for a news brief.

“The item was about Warren Buffett, but in an allusion to ‘David Copperfield,’ I wrote ‘Buffett is willing.’ I did not think anyone would catch the so-very-light allusion, but went ahead with it.”

Reader Jim Steffen got the reference and, after arguing with his brother about it, called the Post-Dispatch to make sure he was right.

“The call was forwarded to me,” writes Rodgers. “It made my day, and Jim’s.”

* Reader appreciates literary reference