So, you messed up: 3 tips for handling corrrections

Another recent item in need of a correction, from the Times-Picayune of New Orleans: http://imgur.com/KlyzZThe mistaken reporting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' death may have you thinking that only big news organizations working in real time can make such mistakes.But such wrongheaded errors are often not caused by deadline pressure and erroneous sources (nor are they…Read more So, you messed up: 3 tips for handling corrrections

Headlines are the only things that matter …

... because you won't get a second chance, your attempts at context will be missed by many, and you'll lose any notion of control over your content as well as any chance to guide the conversation. This is a fear and opportunity much discussed in social media, but it applies to the content your social…Read more Headlines are the only things that matter …

The dumb luck of how we communicate

"English usage is sometimes more than mere taste, judgment and education -- sometimes it's sheer luck, like getting across the street."¬†-- E.B. White, "English Usage," as collected in "The Second Tree From the Corner" (1954)Even the best of our writing will eventually have dated elements, will use words no one uses anymore or be judged…Read more The dumb luck of how we communicate

Copy-editing’s future and failings: A roundup

It's not just a roundup of stupid mistakes, though a few are in there. There's also some discussion of the craft, where it's headed, and why.The case for education reform, proved in one billboard: In Indiana, the city of South Bend decided, we've got some great public schools. Let's promote them with a big ol'…Read more Copy-editing’s future and failings: A roundup

How typos can hurt online job recruiting

National Public Radio¬†has a deserved reputation for the breadth of its offerings in radio and online, recently being called the BBC of the United States. In fact, its online content is so deep and so popular that the organization recently asked to be called, simply, NPR.The organization is also hiring. But here's where its online…Read more How typos can hurt online job recruiting

Rest your brain, then write, edit and think better

SXC.hu photoMy writing here is, in the end, aimed at two things: finding the intersection of successful social media and vibrant editing, and showing how better editing fuels better writing and thinking,As social-media enthusiasts are just starting to learn, it's impossible to be 100%, 100% of the time. A breather is required, not just for…Read more Rest your brain, then write, edit and think better

Spell-check makes audiophiles sound like pedophiles

I tweeted on this specifically recently, as well as the general problem of spell-check, but then came this example.We all know the word "podcast," right? Well, some spell-checking software doesn't. The one in question suggests "produces" for "podcast." That's innocent enough. But what if there are multiple podcasts? Well, then, it's a different story:In social…Read more Spell-check makes audiophiles sound like pedophiles

The lessons of Bob Sheppard being "clear, concise, correct"

The voice of the New York Yankees and New York Giants through nearly every great moment of the post-World War II era, Bob Sheppard, had "clear, concise, correct" as his motto for public-address announcing.It very well may have been his motto for living his life, which just ended at a young 99. His intonations were…Read more The lessons of Bob Sheppard being "clear, concise, correct"

No time to edit? Editors, save yourselves

Part 1 was here, albeit too many days ago.Editing is too slow, too costly and, maybe, too unnoticed in online media. Perhaps. My example-of-the-moment was the Los Angeles Times breaking-news blog, L.A. Now.Here are the three major obstacles to news editors, copy and otherwise, regaining their former prominence, as I see it:Breaking news is a…Read more No time to edit? Editors, save yourselves