Miller Charmaine

Charmaine's adventures in news writing and editing

Week 5 Diary

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The morning got off to a slow start, but now that I am more in the groove of things, I have come to expect a morning of story idea researching and perusing the WUFT website, followed by about two hours in the afternoon of fast-paced editing as content comes in from the Web reporters. That was certainly indicative of the shift I experienced today.

When I got to the newsroom, I made a quick change on the excerpt of the Columbia shuttle crash anniversary story that misspelled “reminisces.” I wasn’t exactly sure how important the change was, because I’m not certain that the excerpt shows up with stories that are no longer featured on the main page of the website. But as I said, it was a slow morning and any changes made seemed to count for small victories.

I proceeded to make changes to my story edit from last week, the one about laws restricting massage parlors. I tried to do as best I could with the advice of Dr. Rodgers. Much of the editing involved simple changes, but in restructuring sentences to have a more active voice were obviously more difficult. I see these are the “higher order” editing skills I need to develop, as Dr. Rodgers has talked about before.

(On another note, I was pleased to see a correction at the bottom of the article regarding a source’s title that had been corrected to me after the piece was published. Now I sort of know the protocol for fact changes.)

I then went to the story meeting with TV and pitched a story idea from Samantha Shavell, a Web reporter working with me. She worked on a piece about human trafficking and Justice Week, and connected these ideas to campus organizations and local programs that are also campaigning against the practice of human trafficking. The TV students offered me some contacts to give her, so I passed those on to Samantha. I exported an audio file for her and updated the assignment sheet. The story turned out really well and I got to give it a first edit.

I also completed a second edit on a short car crash story. I got hung up on AP Style for the word “semi-truck.” There was no specific Stylebook entry, and online I saw the word in so many variations: no space, space no hyphen, hyphenated. Even the New York Times had a mix of these, but the semi-truck version with the hyphen was the most prominent, even without acting as a modifier. I just need to learn to not get stuck on these little things. I probably spent too much time on this one issue, when I could have given more time and closer attention to Samantha’s piece.


Written by charmainemiller

February 4, 2013 at 10:45 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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