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The Young Man and Journalism

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Pages: 134

Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.

Publisher: Date:8/5/2009 - General Books LLC

By: Chester Sanders Lord

Excerpt from book: CHAPTER II THE COLLECTION OF NEWS AND THE PREPARATION OF COPY FOR THE READER The young man just beginning a newspaper career gets a violent shock almost immediately. He discovers that some one is revising his articles, changing his words, shortening his sentences, omitting entire paragraphs. It gives him much anxiety. All newspaper copy is revised. Very little news or general matter is printed as written originally. It undergoes "editing" by copy readers, of whom there are twelve to twenty in the big city offices. The editorial articles are revised by the editor in chief. Other copy for the editorial page—letters to the editor, communications, verse, comments from other newspapers, and the like—is prepared by his assistants. "Editing" copy means preparing it for the compositor, putting it in the exact language in which it is to be printed. Systematic, careful revision of all copy is necessary not alone to correct error of fact, of judgment, of good taste, but also to regulate the volume of matter. The notion that newspapers print articles "just to fill up" is as absurd as the intimation that they "print anything they can get." Every newspaper of any accountreceives, daily, double to four times as much news matter as can be crowded into its columns. The news value of each article or paragraph must have quick, alert consideration. If the reporter has written half a column about an event that is worth twenty lines only of newspaper space the report must be reduced to twenty lines. If an unusual rush of news or advertising compels the order to "cut everything rigidly" it is reduced to ten lines. Just what to print and what to omit are burning questions and the quality of judgment exercised in the decision largely measures the copy reader's ability. The men who revise ne...  

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