It’s my last day at the Missourian. Next week, I’ll load up the U-Haul for a move back to Wichita, where I’ll become managing editor of the Wichita Business Journal. As a parting shot, I want to call your attention to two blog posts that I think are further evidence that the interactive copy desk and our Transition are blazing a trail that others will follow.
First, a piece by Steve Yelvington, who is a well-known digital strategist at Morris Communications, publisher of the Topeka Capital-Journal in our region. Yelvington’s post carries a provocative title, “Let’s just bury the nightside copy desk.” He is trying to counter the hue and cry over the McClatchy Co.’s move to consolidate copy editing for its Raleigh paper’s print edition at its sister paper in Charlotte. Some excerpts:
The flat truth is: If you’re editing stories for a newspaper deadline, you’re doing it wrong. …
Print is, at best, a static fork of a continuous digital process. If you’re waiting to post news until it’s edited for print, you’re killing your job. If you’re posting news on the Web that isn’t of publication quality, you’re killing your job. …
I believe print layout/design is journalism. I understand the importance of qualified editors in the print-finishing process, writing or rewriting headlines, trimming and condensing stories to fit the unyielding requirements of the physical page. But if that’s where your editing is happening, you’re screwed.
Go read it. He’s making the argument for The Transition as well as we’ve ever made it.
John McIntyre, night editor at the Baltimore Sun and a former president of the American Copy Editors Society, responded sympathetically to Yelvington’s post:
And there, I think, [referring to Yelvington's remarks about print editing] is the point that is missed by the managers who are eliminating copy desks. They would be better advised to find ways to incorporate copy editors more thoroughly into the production of the electronic editions.
Which is exactly what the Missourian’s interactive copy desk is demonstrating.