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THINK LIKE AN EDITOR is designed for the new breed of editors who are evolving at the same time news and information sharing is changing. The book encourages students to apply themselves confidently, to think analytically, to examine information with scrutiny, and to see the big picture. Organized by the 50 strategies of editing and working, each "strategy section" runs in length from two to six pages, which makes content easy to find for both students and professors. The text combines an examination of depth of content--teaching students not only what to do as an editor--with insight into the process behind editorial decision making. Full of tips, lists, and memory aids THINK LIKE AN EDITOR works similarly to a brief handbook of editing. Both basic skills and advanced concepts of editing are covered.
- Part One, "Think Like an Editor," prepares editors to see the big picture and to approach content from the editor's perspective.
- Part Two, "Work Like an Editor," emphasizes the basic skills of copy editing, which are intended not only for journalists on a copy desk but for all editors.
- Part Three, "Act Like an Editor," explains the best ways editors can use their authority responsibly; how to avoid ethical missteps; how to get along with colleagues; and how to spot and deal with plagiarism and fabrication.
- The "Think for the Web" segments explain how editors can involve readers and themselves. The assignments are designed to help editors think and act--to put themselves through the same mental exercises that professional journalists go through in the course of their work every day.
- Real-world examples of editing are provided on the author-maintained blog.
1. An Editor's Credo.
PLANNING THE STORY.
2. 10 Steps to a Better Story: How to Work with Reporters on a Focused Plan before They Report.
3. Enterprise: How to Come Up with Good Story Ideas.
4. Spot News: How to Help Reporters React to Breaking News .
5. News Judgment: How to Decide What's Important.
6. Curiosity: How to Strengthen This Trait.
ANALYZING THE STORY.
7. See the Big Picture: How to Answer, "What's the Story?".
8. 10 Questions in 10 Minutes: How to Keep the Story Talk Going.
9. Structure: Opening Paragraphs.
10. Structure: Lead.
11. Structure: Quotes.
12. Structure: Nut Graph.
13. Structure: Cosmic Graph.
14. Give Credit: How to Ensure Proper Attribution, Sourcing and Substantiation.
15. Show, Don't Tell: How to Include Anecdotes, Examples and Details.
16. Context: How to Provide Background and Relevance.
17. Closer Look: How to Tell Where the Story Works and Where It Needs Work.
ASSESSING THE STORY.
18. Skeptical Editing: Ask Key Questions Graph by Graph.
19. Pace: Keep the Story Moving.
20. Sensitivity: Sexual Orientation/ Gender/Race/Religion/Disabilities/Age.
21. Holding a Story: 10 Warning Signs That a Story Should Not Run.
22. Saving a Story: 10 Things You Can Do to Make a Story Work.
PART TWO: WORK LIKE AN EDITOR.
EDITING THE STORY.
23. Treat Editing Like a Mystery: How to Approach a Story.
24. Edit for AP Style.
25. Edit for Grammar.
26. Edit for Spelling.
27. Edit for Punctuation.
28. Edit for Accuracy.
29. Edit for Fairness.
30. Edit for Balance.
31. Edit for Libel.
32. Tight Writing: How to Keep It Simple.
33. Trim a Story: How to Identify 10 Places to Cut.
34. Transitions: How to Change Subjects and Speakers.
35. Clichés: How to Be Original.
36. Verbs: How to Choose Strong Ones.
37. 24-Hour Local News Cycle: How to Handle It.
38. Web Elements: 5 Cautions.
PRESENTING AND SELLING THE STORY.
41. Headlines, Keywords and Metadata.
42. Points of Entry and Points of Involvement.
43. Graphics and Maps.
45. Promos and Refers.
PART THREE: ACT LIKE AN EDITOR.
USING AUTHORITY RESPONSIBLY.
46. Corrections: Own Up to Mistakes.
47. Credibility: Put Yourself above Reproach.
48. Plagiarism and Fabrication: What Editors Can Do.
49. Deadline Pressure: How to Get Along in the Newsroom.
50. Keep Asking Questions.
"[Think Like an Editor] feels up-to-date. Given the speed with which the industry is changing, that's of paramount importance to me and my students."
"A practical, quick and hands-on approach to teaching students basic copy editing skills."
"It is a concise, practical book with excellent hands-on exercises."