The Roll of the Editor

The newspaper has been around serving as the main conduit for delivery of information for generations. While it has been declining in recent years, it still remains a prominent staple of news deliverance. When in the newspaper or any news-providing business, one must be familiar with the many roles that are available and what functions said roles are responsible to fulfill.

There are the journalists/reporters who are responsible for writing article proposals and, if approved, obtain information through researching, interviews with the right people, and, if opinion, their own mouths. They then write the official report. There are company lawyers who read stories that may be sensitive to certain people or are controversial. They decide if such a story is safe to run or not. There are photographers who take the pictures with their artistic eye of people, places, or things to illustrate the article. There is the online staff that “produces the web content, flash animations, and edits Web-only features (Bloggers sometimes write about stories appearing in that day’s journal).” Due to the increasing interest in technology over traditional methods, they have become a major factor in the sharing of news and have since become a necessity for every newspaper. There are market data group who “collects information from stock exchanges to produce stock tables and, as a result, create the 4 p.m. ‘synthetic close’ so the Journal has one, authoritative, ‘closing price’ for each stock and a similar policy for after-hours quotations and answer research questions from reporters.” (Quora)

As stated by study.com, newspaper editors in general “have the daily responsibility of deciding which news stories are printed in the paper. Long before the paper is published, the editor assigns reporters to cover the news, checks for accuracy and fairness in the newspaper’s articles and writes headlines. It is not unusual for a newspaper editor to have worked as a journalist or proofreader before becoming an editor.”

The role of an editor covers many aspects in the newspaper office. Due to the high number of responsibilities, their field is split into subgroups. In fact, there are around five subgroups. While each subfield is similar with similar responsibilities, there are notable difference between them. The differences of each type of editor’s responsivities depends on which subgroup they are in.

The first would be the Bureau chief / editor who has perhaps the highest job in the newspaper totem pole. Their role can be summed up as the “Boss,” (hence why they can be called ‘chief’ as well as ‘editor’). They hire and evaluate reporter, assign beats, have authority on which story proposals get written, and edits a reporter’s story proposal as well as other duties. They are very important in the hierarchy totem pole of the full newspaper’s staff.

The next one would be the section editor who is in charge of the feature pages. They receive story proposals and green-light them as well; unless, of course, the article isn’t right to make it to the print. They also edit the finished pieces of their sections in the newspaper. All in all, they handle the feature sections of the paper.

After that is the copy editor who edits for clarity, double-checks numbers and names to ensure everything is correct. They can also fill in facts that were not known at the time the article has been written. They serve as the figure head of editors as they proofread the reporters’ articles, which seem to be the primary act of editing.

The news editor “edits the stories that are going inside a section rather than on the front. They also “maintain the ‘sked’ of which stories are slated to go on which page and in which editions,” (Quora). These articles tend to be missed or ignored due to not being front page but the effort that goes into ensuring their perfection is no less than any of the others.

The last subgroup is managing editor/editor in chief/deputy managing editor. Quora.com claims that “from the cub reporter’s perspective, they seemed to get directly involved in probably three or four stories a day, focusing on the front page.” These editors have to doubly make sure their work is right as they have the stories that are most read and mistakes are more likely to be noticed.

Note that a common responsibility is to decide what stories make it into the papers and which do not. The editors determine this by deciding if the story has enough detail and is in-depth enough to warrant a spot. Whether or not the news is “hard” or “soft” also helps where the story goes.

The serious news such as politics, economics, crime, war, and so on are considered hard news and, naturally, more likely to get past the editor’s red-light. Soft news, which can be referred to as infotainment, is usually just the reporter’s curiosity fueling a certain story and is therefore more likely to get cut, unless there would be a public interest in the topic alongside the reporter; that would increase its chances to get published in the newspaper. How it looks next to other articles can influence this to. Is it too similar or too different than the other stories? Is it in-depth or vague when compared to the article next to it? So many things must be considered before an article can be put in the paper.

However, editing is not solely for newspapers. Anyone who writes anything in hopes of getting the piece published must see an editor first. Sokanu.com states that “An editor is someone who is a critical reader, and a lover of words. They will prepare a client’s manuscript for publication by polishing, refining and enhancing it. An editor is seen as a gatekeeper between the writer and audience, and they have to take a dual sided point of view in order to keep both parties happy.”

An editor is one of the most important roles a newspaper worker or any career involving writing can have. They ensure that the articles are safe and sound to publish and can be taken for truth. They make sure everything is correct and can be taken for fact. They have a job and they must do it well.

 

Sources

http://www.quora.com/What-are-the-different-positions-at-a-newspaper-like-the-Times-or-WSJ-and-what-role-does-each-play-in-producing-a-news-story

http://study.com/articles/Newspaper_Editors_Job_Duties_and_Information_About_Becoming_a_Newspaper_Editor.html

https://www.sokanu.com/careers/editor/

http://www.bestlibrary.org/ssmedia/2009/10/what-do-newspaper-editors-around-the-world-consider-important-enough-to-put-on-the-front-page.html

http://www.tldp.org/LDP/Linux-Media-Guide/html/editor_duties.html

The Importance of Typography

Typography is defined as “the style and appearance of printed matter; the art or procedure of arranging type or processing data and printing from it (Dictionary). It is the art and technique of arranging type to make written language legible, readable, and appealing when displayed, according to its Wikipedia page. This involves the selection of a particular typeface, the point size, the line length and spacing (which is referred to as leading), letter-spacing (which is referred to as tracking), and the adjustment of the space within letter pairs (which is referred to as kerning). The style, arrangement, and appearance of the letters are another concept of typography; this also includes numbers and symbols. Typography is a sister to type design; however people in each field do not consider belonging to the other. Needless to say, typography is used as a decorative device, which can be related or unrelated to information communication (Wiki).

“Typography is the work of typesetters, compositors, typographers, graphic designers, art directors, manga artists, comic book artists, graffiti artists, and now—anyone who arranges words, letters, numbers, and symbols for publication, display, or distribution—from clerical workers and newsletter writers to anyone self-publishing materials. Until the Digital Age, typography was a specialized occupation. Digitization opened up typography to new generations of previously unrelated designers and lay users, and David Jury, head of graphic design at Colchester Institute in England, states that ‘typography is now something everybody does.’ As the capability to create typography has become ubiquitous, the application of principles and best practices developed over generations of skilled workers and professionals has diminished. Ironically, at a time when scientific techniques can support the proven traditions (e.g. greater legibility with the use of serifs, upper and lower case, contrast, etc.) through understanding the limitations of human vision, typography often encountered may fail to achieve its principle objective, effective communication,” (Wiki).

The history of a typographer itself first emerged around the beginning of the 20th century; this is when it became possible to separate the role of designing a page using that setting of that type. Bruce Rogers was perhaps one of the first to be able to properly identify himself as an typographer.

The fame of Bruce Rodgers first came to be because of his “elegant and careful book designs and even designed his own book typeface, the now-classic Centaur, but who never (as far as I know) actually set type. (Certainly, if Rogers ever did hold a composing stick in his hand, it was not part of his regular job. I doubt he ever sat down at the keyboard of a Monotype or a Linotype machine.)” (Creative Pro).

Rogers’s book designs and his book itself were one person’s works of many people’s works in the long tradition of literary book design. However, it is worth noting that there were others who were using newer and more radical traditions. They used different tactics other than typography. For example, there was Jan Tschichold who wrote about the workman who were actually involved in the process of producing printed matter. His topic was one of unique selection. This piece’s research took place in Weimar, Germany. Creative Pro claimed that they were responsible for the designed pages that were in the asymmetrical style of the New Typography, and proselytized for that new, revolutionary approach to putting words on the page. Tschichold himself did not set his own type, but he became a master of specifying for the typesetter precisely how he wanted every detail to be set.

As indirectly stated numerous times, typography plays a relatively large role in the designing of a page layout. It does more than just decide the form of the text of the size of the text, although that is a part of it. The design of the stuff people saw every day — magazines and ads and packaging and billboards — was in the hands of “commercial artists,” a catch-all term with the emphasis on “artist,” implying that any type used was subservient to the overall graphic effect. (Well, actually, the real emphasis was always on “commercial.”) as stated by Creative Pro. The article continues to say that “as advances in printing technology made it easier to adopt a more visual style of page layout, commercial artists were becoming more concerned with illustration and the arrangement of photographs. By mid-century, in this country, commercial artists were calling themselves ‘graphic designers,’ in an effort to take away the blue-collar connotations of ‘commercial artist’ and position themselves as highly paid professionals. Most graphic designers did work with type, or at least with lettering, but they left the execution of that work to regular typesetters or to lettering artists.”

Creative Pro continues to explain that once everyone began using the same tools—same computers such as PCs and MACs and same programs such as Photoshop and QuarkXPress, PageMaker and Illustrator—the division of labor changed once more. They now had to take on the task of setting their own typography or hoping that a particular program, whether it was theirs or someone else, and its default settings would be able to do the job form them. Since most modern-day graphic designers have never sat at a production keyboard (much less picked up a composing stick and set foundry type by hand — a much older production method), they have never had the opportunity to learn how to handle type on a day-to-day basis; but there are fewer and fewer trained typesetters or type houses that they can turn to for practical help, (Creative Pro).

Even when graphic designers have been through an art or design school, where presumably they have been exposed to at least a basic education about type, most of them don’t seem to have absorbed much understanding of the nuances of typography. They’re practicing a graphic discipline that has become detached from its principal mode of communication; all too often, they simply don’t know how to deal with words. However, through the use of the decodeunicode, which serves as the world’s writing systems, may make it a little easier to learn. Or it may do the opposite and make it more difficult as there are exactly 98,994 graphic characters on different plans.

The job of a typographer is a tough but creative one. They are the ones who make certain articles pop out more than others and, hopefully, prevent text walls from completely overwhelming the reader on sight alone. They add a certain level of imagination to every form of text they touch.

References

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/typography

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typography

http://creativepro.com/dot-font-being-a-typographer/

http://www.aiga.org/404.aspx?aspxerrorpath=/search/

http://www.decodeunicode.org/

How to Write a News Story

Every newspaper, whether it is electronic or physical paper and where it can found, all share a common characteristic. They tell news (Duh). That’s why they are named NEWSpapers. Such detail on certain stories however can come in a variety of subjects. It can cover many different fields of interest; and in order to organize such a vast array of topics, every newspaper is split into sections that determine in which where a certain story/article belongs to if it is going to be published.

Depending on the scope of the paper, there can be dozens of sections; some of which are naturally bigger and more important than others. For example, there are the news Section, the opinion Section, the entertainment or art Section, the feature section, the sport section, and the classified section. As stated before, this is subject to be diminished or expanded upon. However, perhaps one of the most important and most viewed of the newspaper sections is the news section. Please don’t let the surprise overwhelm you.

Similar to news stations on TV, the news sections is responsible for covering local community, state, national and international news events. This section is generally found in the beginning of the paper on the front page. This isn’t a surprise as it covers the most current and news.

In order to write a story for the news section, one must first find a story of relevant interest; a story of an event that has recently transpired and the public would be interested on knowing more information. After a topic is decided, as quoted by Open High School Courses, “a news story always has a lead, which is the first couple of sentences of the article. The lead will always include the most important details of the story: who, what, where, when, why, and how. One can find out what has happened by only reading the lead of an article.”

It is always a good idea to plan before one starts writing about the topic that has been chosen. People have been taught this since grammar school. Knowing what one wants to say before actually saying it lessens the chance of mistakes. However, some writers actually find this first step a hindrance. They see it as an unnecessary limitation that wastes time and effort and nothing is gained from the process. And that’s fine. Some writers can just sit down and write. Naturally, they then go through the paper or article afterwards for any mistakes that may or may not have slipped through. This is also when they change anything or add something that wasn’t there before. Some writers enjoy that process more than planning everything in advance. Both process can be used to reached the best article or paper, it all depends on the individual writer herself or himself.

When one begins to actually start writing, research into whatever topic the article or paper is about. Research can be accomplished through interviews and consulting sources of fact such as a published books. This research provides the body of the article and the more accurate and current the research is, the more accurate and current the article or paper would be. “To begin writing a news article you need to research the topic you will be writing about extensively. In order to have a credible, well written, well structured article, you have to know the topic intimately,” (wikihow). This process could be related to planning.

Once a writer has their topic of interest and research relating to said topic, the article must first start with a headline that captures the readers’ attention. Generally, readers are not interested in reading every article in the paper. They will instead just skim over the headlines and, judging by those, will either read that article or not. The more interesting the headline is, the more likely the people will stop skimming and actually read the article itself. This goes without saying, but the headline must also be related to the story itself. Don’t just write the most unique or weird thing that pops into mind. Be creative but still be truthful.

There must be a byline in order to give the writer credit. Any photography that may or may not coincide with the article must also receive the proper credit it(s) deserves. The spelling of the name is a make-it-or-break-it scenario. The writer is either right or wrong, and being wrong can upset a lot of people. So make sure the spelling is right. Despite the fact that this piece of information on the article is hardly looked at, it is still important to include this detail.

And finally, perhaps the most crucial piece is the body, which contains all of the information, facts, and first-hand quotes the writer has divulged through interviews and research. Any “facts” used must be undeniably true with no room for argument. When writing the body, it is imperative that no personal opinions be placed in a news article unless in a quote. That will cause the article to become bias and lose its status as a news article and be changed to an opinion piece. Writing in the third person is another important concept when writing a news piece. When all of these steps are used, the piece is written well and the research is sound, odds are that one has achieved writing a news story.

Writing a news piece can be the hardest story to write for a newspaper. The strict requirements for what facts make the cut and the almost detached persona one must undergo when writing it so no personal statements hinder the story can really increase the pressure to write a decent story. It deserves the truth and nothing but the truth! While writing the news story can be difficult, it is these stories that are read the most often and the stories the public is the most concerned with. They are the backbone of the whole paper. And a good newspaper needs a good back.

 

Sources

http://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-News-Article

http://openhighschoolcourses.org/mod/book/tool/print/index.php?id=924

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newspaper

http://www.mediacollege.com/journalism/news/write-stories.html

https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/735/05/