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What’s it take to be a good editor?

Confused about the role of a copy editor? Many consider copy editors the last line of defense for a news outlet, protecting it from silly or even dangerous mistakes. The Washington Post’s Bill Walsh says copy editors are the final defense against bad writing too. Think it’s all about nitpicking grammar, style and details in stories? Editing is that, but it is much more too. John McIntyre, a longtime editor at the Baltimore Sun, spells out how the best editors edit. You may want to hang on to his list of questions as you edit copy either for class or for a student publication.

Read Walsh and McIntyre by clicking on their links. Then answer the following questions in the comments section of your lab. This assignment is due at the beginning of class Tuesday, Sept. 8.  What traits must a good editor have? Do you think you have the temperament to be a good editor? Why or why not? If you were applying for a copy editing job, what qualities would you emphasize on your resume?

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