From the writer side I’d also note that good editors need to edit without gutting the writer’s style. Granted this is less important in straight news pieces (but then those are a bit rare these days, no?) It is a problem in most other forms of writing. Occasionally, I’ve had an edit so sweeping and nit-picky that I just want to tell the editor to write the story himself.

In current practice, however, editing is a quick text edit and publishing. I’ve had a few good edits that changed how I wrote for the better. Most of those were solicited on my own, that is, they aren’t in the business.

I love that Bobbie Johnson is writing on this. Lack of editorial skill is one of the contributing factors to today’s journalism gap. (Finishing up a piece on that now, actually, and relevant links just keep coming.)



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Leslie Loftis

Teacher of life admin and curator of commentary. Occasional writer.