Cutting editing, cutting quality

I shared this Poynter article without comment on Twitter while I was on the go this morning, but I want to share it again with a few comments.

American Copy Editors Society president Teresa Schmedding says “The news industry can’t cut its way to quality” and she also notes she’s leaving daily journalism to become managing editor at Rotary International.

The upshot is without quality control, you can’t have quality journalism.

So, here are a few thoughts:

1. Journalism is losing a good person and a good editor. Unfortunately, journalism has lost far too many of them recently.

2. However, there are lots of ways to get and share information, and they need good editors, too. And as Teresa Schmedding said, right now many of those places put a higher value on the quality a good copy editor can bring.

3. On Saturday, I was one of many people who responded to a series of tweets from Tanzina Vega of CNN, who was reacting to a Business Insider article about newsroom cuts and the rush to publish and to “need” post a lot.

It’s time for a renewed push for quality control, and in organizations that publish words — and this includes all news organizations these days — quality control must include copy editing.

It’s great to see the growth of copy editing jobs in non-news settings. But to maintain trust, news organization shouldn’t be cutting their quality control.

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