Sunday, August 27, 2023

We used to read the stuff before publication

When I retired two years ago from The Baltimore Sun after more than three decades of service as an editor, I swore a mighty oath that I would not become one of those former Sun employees who splutter that the place went straight to hell once they left. 

But damme, there's a limit. 

A Sun reporter filed a story that began, "Nearly 60 years ago, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. declared he had a dream. ..." It was published online two days ago. 

It appeared this morning on Page One of The Sun, above the fold, with the identical opening sentence, the day AFTER the 60th anniversary. Paired with the story was a refer to the wire service story inside on commemoration of the anniversary. 

So it seems that the print edition has become of so little consequence that there is no editor on hand paying sufficient attention to protect a reporter from looking like a fool. 

This is precisely the sort of thing that used to be caught before publication on the copy desk, when newspapers still had copy desks. 


A fellow copy editor reminds me that tomorrow, Aug. 28, is the 60th anniversary of the King speech. as we see, I do not have an editor to keep me from looking like a fool.