John McIntyre, whom James Wolcott calls "the Dave Brubeck of the art and craft of copy editing," writes on language, editing, journalism, and other manifestations of human frailty. Comments welcome. Identifying his errors relieves him of the burden of omniscience. Write to jemcintyre@gmail.com, befriend at Facebook, or follow at Twitter: @johnemcintyre. Back 2009-2012 at the original site, http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/mcintyre/blog/ and now at www.baltimoresun.com/news/language-blog/.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Calling all subs

Susan Keith, a professor of journalism at Rutgers and a colleague from the American Copy Editors Society, is at work on a project on the state of copy editing/sub editing in the English-speaking world, and she appeals for help:

I'm attempting to interview several copy editors each from the U.S. and Canada and sub editors in the U.K., Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Locating copy editors in the U.S. hasn't been a problem, of course, and I've made some contacts in Canada and among the gregarious Aussies. But I'm still trying to identify sub editors in the U.K., Ireland and South Africa.

Here is a fuller description of the project:

http://www.rci.rutgers.edu/~susank/subcopyeditorproject.html

If anyone from this blog’s international audience would like to assist Professor Keith, here is her e-mail address: susank@rci.rutgers.edu

Professor Keith adds that “there's no need for copy/sub editors to be identified by name or newspaper in my study. I understand that many people might not want to speak, for attribution, about conditions at their workplaces, so I can keep identities confidential.”

A personal note

This is the eight-hundredth post of this blog, begun in a burst of optimism and exploration in December 2005. This week Gannett is discharging more than a thousand employees, and word of the fate of colleagues around the country — people I’ve met through conferences and workshops, people whose worth I know and whose work I value — is beginning to trickle in. And the fate of those left behind is hardly to be envied. I hope that Professor Keith’s study will help to illuminate the situation as journalism gropes its way toward a new path, but just today I lack the heart to say anything further.