March 1 to March 14
As technology continues to change the media, publishing, and communications landscapes, the importance of human editors is being challenged. The automation of the editing process, the pressure to break stories first, and the underselling of freelancers threaten our value to the organizations and the industries we serve.
We know that being an editor is more than just correcting grammar, spelling, and punctuation. But how do we show that to organizations and to consumers of information? In this issue of Ditto, we explore other ways we can use our editorial skills.
- We can share what we’ve learned. Whether it’s blogging about professional editing or offering advice or tips to writers as someone who reads as a job, we have knowledge and stories to share. Putting them out there may help readers be more informed, but more importantly, the process could help us become better editors and professionals.
- We can remix like Steve Jobs. While most people refer to Steve Jobs as a creative, visionary, or genius, he referred to himself as an editor, “deciding what’s on and what’s not on” the next Apple product. Brain Pickings, TechMeme, 99u’s Workbook, and the Washington City Paper’s Annotated Guide to 2012 are examples of curation projects where editors showcase their editorial taste and judgment in gathering and contextualizing content.
- We can highlight what happens when editors are not involved. Point outan error, a poor choice of visuals, a misuse of “your,” or unnecessary caps. That should somehow sound the alarm.
What do you think?
This is a very short list and by no means exhaustive of all the ways the world can benefit from editors. Let us know if you have other ideas on what else we can do with our language skills, editorial judgment, and sense. Don’t wait until algorithms catch up.
Ditto is a fortnightly selection of stories on publishing, media, communications, and topics that concern editorial professionals from the most credible sources on the Web. We hope to educate young professional writers and editors about industry standards, breakthroughs, and trends, among other things. Usually, you’ll find news and commentaries in here, but from time to time, we also feature tweets, visuals, games, freebies, and other fun but useful stuff that caught our eye.