Online Copyediting Copy-editing is the process of preparing a document for publication. It covers the structure, organization and writing style of the text, as well as legal issues. In a digital world we need copy editors as ethics gatekeepers and guardians.
Data Smog Data smog is information with which we are overloaded on internet everyday. There is awful lot of smog on the web like junk emails, unsolicited emails, endless advertisements.
Proof-reading Proof-reading is a separate activity from copy editing and should always be done afterwards as part of a final check that the text is in good order.
What does a copy-editor do? Copy editors are usually responsible for a number of matters in print and online media likeo Fixing spellings o Grammar o Style errors o Factual errors o Content errors o Technical and legal isssues o As well as writing headlines, choosing articles and arranging layout.
Skills Needed for Copyeditors Rules of language Journalist is a generalist Wide range of knowledge Double check fact Quickly search web to verify information Consistency Accuracy
Online CopyeditingA Few General Pointers
A Few General Pointersfor online copyediting
Whether online or offline, copy editor's job is not only proof-reading but also checking content for errors.
Mechanical Errors Grammar, spelling and punctuation mistakes In many cases mechanical errors are the consequence of quick writing where the focus is on the content rather than the form.
General Rules and Tips Read each story twice First: to remove mechanical and link text errors Read at the speed of your eyes, not your brain
Second: to catch anything incorrect or misleading within the content
General Rules and Tips Read the copy aloud. To assure that you read every line is to slide blank sheet of paper down the page. Read from the last sentence to the first sentences should flow logically together in either direction.
Get a print out to read. Placed the article on web page
Mechanics Make sure subject and verb agree The bill with five amendments were ratified by the assembly. WRONG! Watch out for they and it IBM announced that their third-quarter profits held secretly. WRONG!
Mechanics Watch out for that vs. which The trail which followed captured the publics attention. WRONG! The verdict, which caused endless speculation, came Friday. RIGHT! First references Courtesy titles
Content Does the lead misguide the reader? Double and triple check headlines Do numbers in the story add up? Double check the facts and figures Dont convict a suspect Correct legal status like charged in the death of, on trail for the theft of. etc
Web-specific Items Double check links Scan URLs to identify anything questionable forinstance, a story is about GEO TV and link says www.jeo.com
Check all the extensions of multimedia links Check all the supporting items Headlines, links, tables, photo caption, sidebars, videos
Online CopyeditingThe Spell-Check problem Headlines
The Spell-Check Problem Spell-check function if not used with sharp senses can cause problems Spell-check function can have bad effects on students and journalists too Too much reliance on technology Job of copy desk editor has become more difficult
The Spell-Check Problem Spell check function works two ways It can ignore incorrect spellings Use of word processing programs
Headlines Primary goal of headline Headline in print news Headline in online medium
Guidelines to follow when writing headline: The main objective should be to get the gist of your story across as completely as possible. Summarize the most important points. It should force the reader to look at the story.
Online CopyeditingCutline Style
What is caption? Caption is a brief description of photograph Needs to describe that what is going on. Photographs can be the headlines. Caption should match the tone of the photo.
Cutline What is cutline? One should aim to write cutline in active voice Cutline should match the tone of the story.
Style Journalists mainly follow AP style Associated press style. News organizations can have their own style AP style doesnt really go with web because of the advent of new terms like hacking, DOS attacks etc Style is a body language of text Understandable font style should be used