Tuesday, March 28, 2006

ACES Article

I have a piece in the latest issue of the American Copy Editors Society newsletter. For those who don't receive the newsletter, here are the first few paragraphs.

My copy-editing blog, Copy Massage, began with a specific purpose. I wanted to show up a friend.

Perhaps that overstates things. But a friend and fellow wordsmith did begin a blog about copy editing in the summer of 2003. He covered subjects usually found in usage books and on the tongues of curmudgeonly editors. Like vs. such as. Who vs. whom. Persuade vs. convince.

His blog entertained, but it wasn't my style. I wanted to address editing from a different, more thoughtful perspective. So in September 2003, I created Copy Massage. The blog would transcend stylebook squabbling (or so I supposed) and talk about subjects of real importance.

In the years since, I'’ve had mixed success. The blog has drifted away from that early, pure goal. After all, how many times can you write: "Put yourself in the reader's shoes" before boring yourself to tears?


For the rest, take a look at the newsletter. (My piece continues on in much the same vein, so perhaps you're not missing much if you don't.)

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

More on Philly

An interesting article in Editor and Publisher. The potential buyer says some smart things.

I see the whole Knight-Ridder sell-off as an opportunity for communities to experiment with alternative methods of newspaper ownership. The St. Petersburg Times, for instance, is owned by a nonprofit journalism school. I've always wondered why more didn't look at such an approach -- or at least consider an alternative to the sometimes-brutal world of public trading.

In a decade or two, it wouldn't surprise me at all if many newspapers were owned or operated by nonprofits. The stock market hasn't proved the most congenial of masters for what is, after all is said and done, more a calling than a business.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Perhaps I Blogged too Soon ...

Word on the street is that McClatchy wants to sell a dozen of the Knight-Ridder papers. So the drama continues.

My thoughts go out to folks at the:

Philadelphia Inquirer
San Jose Mercury News
Philadelphia Daily News
Akron Beacon Journal
Wilkes Barre Times Leader
Aberdeen American News
Grand Forks Herald
Ft. Wayne News - Sentinel
Contra Costa Times
Monterey Herald
Duluth News Tribune
The St. Paul Pioneer Press.

I think particularly about the Philly papers. I worked a summer at the Inquirer nearly five years ago, and that city has two fine, fine newspapers. They deserve to thrive.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Knight-Ridder Sale

If reports coming in this evening prove true, and McClatchy indeed plans to buy Knight-Ridder, I think a lot of people will be breathing sighs of relief. Perhaps we can start thinking about journalism itself more and the journalism business less.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

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