This is my wish for 2004:
A forceful, vigorous news media. We need it now more than ever. Our country has undergone radical changes in the past two years. The challenge for journalists of all stripes has seldom been greater.
Some have risen to the challenge. Others have not -- or do not acknowledge the reshaping of our national landscape. Perhaps the preoccupations of the news business itself have obscured the national picture.
Reporters must ask tough questions. Newspapers must be willing to publish the answers and live with the consequences. Newspapers cannot sit by and watch the changes. They must interact with them.
But what about copy editors? What role does the desk play in this?
When every week brings more news of national and international import, the basics become crucial. The desk's bread-and-butter -- grammar, spelling, fact-checking -- must be done right.
Copy editors maintain a newspaper's credibility. We must pursue our jobs with the same force and vigor as every other department. If our newspapers print accurate, fair and comprehensive reports, we have done our jobs. And not before then.