I recently came across this post on social media and it got me thinking: THANK GOD THE MISSOURIAN HAS MULTIPLE ROUNDS OF EDITING.
It was inevitable that I would get to posting about editing because it is the blood of a newspaper. While I am not equipped with how every newspaper handles editing, it is clear that this newspaper did not take the time to have other eyes look at the headline. Or, if others did look at the headline, they all felt it didn’t need a hyphen, which seems ridiculous from the outside looking in.
At the Missourian, it is great to know that not only the ACE or editor looks at the story, but it also has to go through ICE for posting. This way, the articles have multiple eyes looking at the story to catch any mistakes.
For small newspapers, I think that having minimal people and need for quick turnarounds lead to articles like this. The bad thing about this is that the credentials of the journalist and newspaper are lowered.
This is why there is a constant need for journalists to practice good self-editing skills as well as be knowledgable on grammar and AP style. Even if grammar wasn’t a strong suit in a journalist, AP stylebook clearly states that when there are two adjectives describing a noun, a hyphen is needed. Since “first” and “hand” are adjectives describing the noun “experience,” a hyphen would have saved them from cyber humiliation.
When a journalist is constantly looking at their article, I understand. It is hard to catch tiny errors, but an example like this proves the necessity of finding techniques for editing. Even if an editor can’t get around to look at an article, I feel it is the journalist’s responsibility to print out the article and mark it or read it out loud.
That is one thing that Katherine has taught me this year. It is important to read your article out loud. For me, I struggle with transitions. I often hop right to my thought without setting the reader up. If I read it out loud and act like a clueless reader, I can find my errors and correct them. This saves me embarrassment in the editing stage and the final stage.
So when I get to a job where there may not be enough eyes to look at my article before posting, I will use Katherine’s advice to save me from my article becoming a meme.