Is Editing Dead?

by Ashley Tinstman

This morning, I was reading a news article online, when I noticed that the writer had missed a very big error:  the exact same sentence was written in the story twice.  As I continued reading, I came across a few other sentences that had typos as well—missing words, grammatical errors, misspellings, you name it.  By the time I got halfway through the article, I had grown so annoyed that I quit reading it and thought, “How did nobody catch this?”

Then, as I thought about it for another minute, I realized just how often I had been seeing these major typos lately.  And it’s not just one newspaper or website—I’ve noticed it happening more frequently in a number of publications.

Personally, I am a big stickler when it comes to grammar and attention to detail in my writing, so I initially dismissed my frustration as me being too nitpicky.  But once I started seeing this trend on an almost-daily basis, I had to wonder, “Is editing dead?”

As I’m sure many of you all remember, there was once a time when journalists were very serious about putting out a polished product.  But since the emergence of the 24-hour news cycle, it seems that the rush to be the first and the fastest to get the story has trumped the importance of editing and proofreading that story.

Of course, this isn’t true for every publication, but it has unfortunately become a somewhat common trend among media.  However, for public relations professionals, this should serve as a reminder that editing is equally as important in our line of work—and it should never be a practice that falls by the wayside.

Similar to the media, our industry is very much a deadline-driven world.  It’s fast-paced, and in that kind of environment, it’s easy to let the quality of our work slip.

So, if you’re one who’s prone to typos and grammatical errors in the name of rushing, take the 10 extra minutes next time to read through your work—or have someone else give it a second look.  It could be the difference between sending the client a polished product and something that’s less than your best.

And if you’re ever unsure about how to write something, try consulting your AP Stylebook or Grammar Girl, who I am convinced knows everything there is to know about grammar.

Category: Taking Aim Tags: , , 2 Comments

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