Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Need for Editors, Explained

Richard L. Berke of The New York Times explains
why we need editors.

Key graf: Editors can bring a fresh eye to an article. They can remind a reporter to step back, and explain to readers why the particular story is important. They can prod a reporter to do a little more interviewing and a little more work to make sure they get the full story. They can tell reporters who are in love with their own prose that actually, if you trim 200 of their precious words out of an 1100-word story, it might actually make the story tighter and easier to read. They can suggest to the reporter that maybe the anecdotal opening is a little slow and that they should come up with something snappier. While most of the best ideas come from reporters -- they are the ones out in the field, talking to people -- editors can sometimes see a bigger picture and suggest ideas that aren't as obvious to reporters in the thick of it.

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