Sunday, April 10, 2011

Attempt at Introduction

This blog, closed nearly four years ago, reflects a particular time and space in journalism. Events in the intervening years have made much of what I wrote seem quaint.

To summarize: For several years in the early 2000s, it seemed as though print and online worlds could cozily coexist. The general line in newsrooms at the time was that online products would supplement -- but never replace -- the printed newspaper. Publications across the country still employed scores of copy editors to polish stories and write headlines.

There are still copy editors, of course, and there are still printed newspapers. But there are fewer of each. Few have written off print entirely, but there's a growing understanding that much journalism of the future will be experienced in an online, connected environment.

And the job of the copy editor as I understood it -- as copy editors understood it -- has morphed into something else entirely. Style mistakes can now be fixed after publication online. Headlines, likewise, can shift. Many editors were already designing pages when I wrote this blog, now many are updating websites, learning about databases and writing web-optimized headlines.

Thus, when I go through these entries, I see post after post dealing with ephemera. It's fun ephemera, to be sure, and worthwhile on its own terms. But in today's news media landscape, it seems quaint.

The blog shifted over its four years. Its original title, "Copy Massage," changed to "Editor Evolved." (I still think a blog with the title and mission of "Editor Evolved" has a place, but I'm more interested in the experience than the documentation these days.) I wrote many posts dealing with the shifts that, even then, were taking place.

But many more posts dissected style errors, called out wrongdoers and otherwise splashed around the nascent evolutionary pools of the blogosphere. Please treat them gently. They come from a different world.

You won't find every single "Copy Massage" and "Editor Evolved" post here. A handful seemed too mean, tacky or slight to retain. And as an editor, it has been difficult to resist tweaking a headline here or a phrase there. If you want to see how things went down at the time, check out

That's enough from me. My personal website,, features recent creative work by yours truly. My Facebook and Twitter accounts contain updates on my daily wanderings.

Stay focused, alert and creative -- readers deserve no less.