This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 18, 2010 3:42 PM. The previous post in this blog was What's wrong with sports journalism today. The next post in this blog is Warm weather brings Welches con man back out of woodwork. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Sunday, April 18, 2010

They told it like it was

I miss the old editors I used to have in my days as a young reporter back in Jersey City. They don't make them like that any more:

Preening over a story I once handed in to the foreign desk, I couldn’t resist asking the editor, "Well, does it sing?" Here is what he said: "Just keep triple-spacing it, sonny, so we can rewrite it between the lines."

Comments (5)

My first story as a part-time sports reporter for the WashPost was greeted by the late great Mo Siegel, sitting in the copy ed's slot, with "Who wrote this sh**?" He didn't change a word.

When I turned in my first column at the Portland Tribune, I didn't realize that the editors wrote the headlines. No problem - the editors usually came up with something good.

I thought about this just now when I read an Oregonian story with the headline, "On the bus with 385 soldiers from Oregon Army National Guard returning home today from Iraq."

Look, these people just fought for our country. Do we have to pack them all on one bus?

Just out of college, I was a stringer for UPI in Eugene back in the early 70s. There was a major riot on the UO campus, with kids trying to burn down the ROTC building and cops spraying them with pepper gas. I call the story in to the guy on the desk in Portland--you had to read your copy over the phone then--and after the third graph, he says, "That ut?" I say, "No, I got a lot more." He says, "Write a book," and hangs up. Good thing we learned the inverted pyramid in those days.

There have been many times in recent years when I wished I had that kind of editor.

"There have been many times in recent years when I wished I had that kind of editor."
Like about two seconds ago when I realized I typed "ut" instead of "it."

I can remember when editors would have been ashamed of unintended oxymorons like "unsung heroine"


Clicky Web Analytics