Bad News for Good Editing
The Bay Area News Group, which operates more than two dozen small newspapers, has announced it will lay off all 11 of its copy editors, sending stories to press without any copy editing at all. For those of us who've spent years refining the craft this isn't welcome news.
I've been hoping that the decline or absence of editing standards at many online outlets would, instead of bringing down standards across the board, separate the top-quality stuff from the pack. I mean, I know that most readers don't consciously notice subtle style and grammar infelicities, but as Malcolm Gladwell so effectively argued in "Blink," the can't-put-my-finger-on-what's-wrong subconscious can still discern between good and bad. I was hoping that, in light of all the typos you see on line, this all added up to good news for us advocates of good editing. I'm getting more pessimistic.