Copy editors, the unsung heroes of the writing world, are finally getting recognition. Unfortunately, it is because they face losing their jobs.
Hundreds of the New York Times employees walked out June 29 to protest the elimination of the Times’ stand-alone copy desk where about 100 copy editors toil away to make the paper readable and accurate. Those folks have been “invited” to apply for 50 copy editing positions that will be available. (For an in depth look, see the Washington Post’s “Why hundreds of New York Times employees staged a walkout.” )
For years I have watched as copy editing positions were eliminated in favor of “streamlining” communication. The result has always been mistakes, confusion, and inaccuracy flooding through (not to mention hideously bad grammar and usage).
Modern communication, especially news, is focused on speed. The faster you can get the information out, the better. Copy editing slows things…
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