Re: Really caring about communication
People have become sloppy and that's because the content is really more important than all those other things.
That, and the fact that the turnaround time for content is becoming shorter and shorter - no doubt due to the instant responses you get on the Internet.
For example, when I sold my first computer journalism in 1994, about six weeks would pass between the submission of a manuscript and its publication. That gives all the time anyone needs for editing and revision. By contrast, in 2003, I sometimes pitch the idea, write the article and have it published within 20-30 hours on a web page. Admittedly, print magazines and newspapers are still not that fast, but their response time is often four or five times faster than it was a decade ago, too. Under these circumstances, first-rate editing is difficult. If you take too much time over editing, then you can miss the scoop or the moment when a subject is timely.
Another thing: the work flow in newspapers and magazines used to include both editing and layout (which, although not primarily concerned with editing, often served as another round of editing, because setting up the layout made it easy to find mistakes). Now, journalists are often assumed to use their spell checkers to do their own editing, and write to pre-existing templates, so the old checks simply aren't there. The new processes simply don't allow for careful checkiing, even if there were time to do them.
Bruce Byfield bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com 604.421.7177
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