Monday, July 12, 2004

Stranger than fiction

Dispelling some newspaper myths in Tucson:
Myth: Reporters write the headlines on their stories.

Fact: Specialized journalists known as copy editors write headlines, based on their readings of the stories. Headline writing is a combination of skillful art and science. The art is in the use of succinct, accurate and interesting words; the science is in making them fit a defined and limited space.


At 1:52 PM, July 12, 2004, Blogger Mike said...

It seems so simple to those of us on the inside, but damned if there aren't a bunch of fundamental misunderstandings of how the media work. The biggest misunderstanding — and perhaps the most pervasive — is that editorials are the same as news stories.

We've all read those darned letters to the editor (the ones that never make it into print) that begin "George Will is clearly biased in his reporting of affirmative action" or some such.

Ah, despair.

At 3:31 PM, July 12, 2004, Blogger Phillip Blanchard said...

Myth: The editor of the newspaper reads and approves everything in advance of it being printed.

Fact: The contents of the average edition of the Citizen are equal to a hefty book. For one person to read that would be impossible.

***No, it wouldn't. (I am not suggesting that the Citizen editor read every word, but it's certainly possible.)***

At 10:19 PM, July 12, 2004, Blogger Bill said...

I don't think it's possible without a major restructuring of deadlines to make it possible.

At 11:25 PM, July 12, 2004, Blogger Nicole said...

It would also vary greatly by paper.

At 3:06 PM, July 13, 2004, Blogger Phillip Blanchard said...

Yes. I'm referring to the Tucson Citizen, which is not the behemoth that the writer would have you believe.

At 6:43 PM, July 13, 2004, Blogger jann said...

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