Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Finding Mistakes Where There are None

For better or for worse, the midterm is officially behind us. Though I went into the classroom brimming with as much confidence as I was capable of mustering, I found myself second-guessing all of my editing choices. Specifically identifying verbals or clauses is tricky enough, but turning us loose on that error-riddled last page was another matter entirely. Suddenly, I started seeing mistakes everywhere, even when there were none. I'm not going to dwell on this too much over the break - I can't change my answers now - but I don't know how professional editors cross these grammatical minefields on a daily basis. Though to be fair, even the sloppiest of the Journalism 200 papers I've graded have never been that bad.

Other random thoughts:
  • David Simon's new television project, "Treme," is "skedded" to start shooting this month, according to Variety. This new HBO show will focus on Jazz musicians in post-Katrina New Orleans. Why am I bringing this to your attention? Simon is also responsible for "The Wire" and "Generation Kill." If you've seen either series, you know that he's very skilled at taking isolated groups - Baltimore cops and Iraq War marines, respectively - to make larger points about societal ills. Basically, follow the money and you'll find all kinds of corruption. Simon is a former Baltimore Sun journalist and has surrounded himself with equally talented writers, so this will likely be stuff journalists like.

  • Crain Communications cut 150 jobs and slashed salaries across all of its publications yesterday. This includes Advertising Age, one of the magazines we recently visited in New York City. Also, my almost-hometown, Cleveland, may be losing its major newspaper soon. Time Magazine ran an article about newspapers in jeopardy last week, and the historic Plain Dealer made the cut. I covered this may paper for my Journalism 425 critique last semester and it has indeed seen better days, but losing the print edition entirely would still be an epic blow to a city that's already having difficulties.


  1. No need to second guess when you are the editor. Decide and go on. The point of the plethora of errors in class is to expose you to so many that outside the classroom you'll say, "I've handled this before." You'll then decide, act and move on. That is stuff journalists like, for sure. Twitter me that, Batman.

  2. I know! Now I think things that are wrong that are perfectly legit. This class is messing with my head. On a related note, see Sky's entry...