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OpenText™ "Editorial Judgement"
For anyone who writes, an editor helps make the final product better. A good editor is not just spell-check and grammar police (although still essential). In a BBC article, editing was described as “an exercise in selection and judgement: what to put in and – just as important – what to leave out.” I think a good editor asks the why questions. Why this story? Why should people care? Why did you lead with that? It makes the writer think.
It seems anyone can be an online reporter or blogger or social media contributor — even me. But with so many voices all saying something, readers can quickly and easily experience information overload. Before commoditization in news, there were entry barriers for the wannabe news reporters: the print publishers were gatekeepers and editors were a checkpoint. Before online and social media, there wasn’t an overabundance of news outlets; the scarcity made news outlets valuable and kept subscription and advertising rates rising.
But an editor is more than a checkpoint: they have a duty and responsibility to help the organization succeed, a tough job in an age of hyper-competitive digital news. Balancing editorial integrity and the business concerns continues to be a work in progress in a drastically changing environment.
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