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Monthly Archives: August 2008

Samuel Rubenfeld, DJNF/Temple 2008, a Hofstra University senior, went from the windup of his extended internship with Dow Jones Newswires to Denver, Colorado, and covering the Democratic National Convention for his campus newspaper. Following is a report that reflects on his summer as a copy editor and his most recent experience as a reporter.

Summer 2008 came to a very hectic end.

My Newspaper Fund internship at the Dow Jones Newswires, which was extended
two weeks, came to an end last Friday, and I was back home on Long Island
that night. The next evening, I was on a plane to Denver to cover the
Democratic National Convention for my campus newspaper, The Chronicle.

I am blogging coverage of both national conventions, and you can read my
work at http://www.hofstrachronicle.com/conventions. The work is difficult,
especially because of simply how much there is to cover. This blog is my
best effort at doing it, though I am also probably going to write stories
for the first issue of the Fall 2008 semester of the campus newspaper.

I love covering politics; and the opportunity to be on the ground in the
middle of this historic election is something dreams couldn’t even fathom.

Immediately following the conventions, I return for my senior year at
Hofstra.

I will say, though you wouldn’t normally think it, my copy editing
experience this summer helped me immensely on this trip. It taught me the
importance of tight, concise writing, especially for a blog. It taught me
the relevance of a catchy headline and pithy copy. It showed me how to bring
outside influences to color my reporting.

Some reporters say copy editors are stodgy fools who ruin writing by taking
out their flowery descriptions. But what they don’t see is how important
those copy editors are in helping a reporter shape their vision. Having
been able to do both in one summer has made the internship all the more
valuable.

Lou Heldman, DJNF/Temple l971, is Distinguished Senior Fellow in Media Management and Journalism at Wichita State University. He retired from the newspaper business in September 2007, after serving 35 years as a reporter, editor and publisher.

My 1971 experience at Temple was on my mind last week when I began my post-retirement career, which includes teaching in the Elliott School of Communication at Wichita State University.

I have a great role model in Ed Trayes, who taught us to love and respect editing. Trayes went far beyond teaching us skills – he taught us to think hard about the judgments we were making. To get the facts right and to put them in context. To think first of the readers and how our decisions would add or detract from their learning and enjoyment.

Those were lessons that stuck with me far beyond that summer. As a reporter and then an editor in Detroit, Fort Wayne, Miami and Tallahassee, then as a publisher in State College (Pennsylvania) and Wichita, I benefited from that intense, joyful two weeks at Temple.

Eating most of our meals in a neighborhood dive and sleeping in a stifling dorm only added to the urban summer camp experience.

David Coronna counts his DJNF/Temple editing program in l975 as one of his most formational experiences. “I am forever grateful for how it helped to launch me,” he writes. After graduation from college in l976, he went to work on newspapers for three years before going to law school, graduating in l982. Today he works in regulatory, brand and communication strategy. His media-related work includes Tribune Co. and Viacom.

For me, DJNF was a launching pad for a career in strategic planning. I
learned some lessons as relevant in today’s fragmented media environment
as when I experienced life in 1975 as an intern at the Buffalo Courier
Express. The newspaper may be gone, but the lesson lives on: like the
ability to hold in your mind at the same time both the big picture and
the little picture…handling the details of copy editing while
understanding the larger arc of the story and its context. That ability
is rare in business today; a skill one can learn practically in
journalism school and on the job. Another lesson of the copy editor is
applying the skills of analysis and synthesis. Today the world needs
people who can analyze the problem, but also see connections and
opportunities others cannot.

The lessons of good journalism are even more important in a world in
which everyone can be her or his own publisher. Accuracy, ethics and a
strong sense of fairness would go a long way in ensuring society
progresses. DJNF is a bulwark of these critical traits.

Life in South Mississippi is going well. I’m adjusting to the post-Katrina
landscape, settling into my new apartment and gaining comfort in my job as a
copy editor/page designer at the Sun Herald (www.sunherald.com).

For the past two weeks, I have focused on editing. I told my boss that I was
more confident in my editing skills than in design, so he is easing me into
the design aspect. I start design training on Labor Day, and the schedule
says I will be designing the inside-A section by mid- to late-September.

The editing is definitely going well, which is good because I thought
reverting to AP Style would be hard after a summer spent memorizing the NYT
style manual. Speaking of stylebooks, the in-house one here is fun to read.
Some of my favorite entries:

*Barq’s* drink it; it’s good
*chef’s salad *because it is not little tiny chefs cut up
*doublewide *the better trailer
*y’all *contraction particular to the South, meaning “you all.” Takes a
plural verb.

I also am working to get used to the pace of things. Most nights, I am one
of two copy editors working. In each of the past two Sunday papers, I’ve
counted at least 20 stories that I had edited. The stories I edit are quite
varied. In one night, I could edit the Sports centerpiece, the Dear Abby
column, all the obituaries, any story on A1 or area briefs. Katrina Read More »

Sheila Dougherty was a DJNF intern in the summer of 1995 with The Wall
Street Journal’s national copy desk, after editor-training residency at
Temple University. At the end of the summer, she was hired at the paper
as a copy reader, an entry-level position. After two years in that role,
she was hired as the copy reader for the paper’s Page One department,
which involved copy editing and production of the WSJ’s front page. Two
years later, she returned to the national copy desk. In 2000, Sheila
took a job as the copy chief of Advertising Age, a national trade
magazine covering the marketing industry. She manages a staff of four on
a universal desk that handles copy for a weekly print magazine and a
Web site that is updated constantly, in addition to several daily and
weekly newsletters.

I didn’t want to be a copy editor. Like a lot of young journalists, my
ambition was to be a reporter. I intended to break huge stories and
accumulate bylines. Headline writing was not in the plan.

Little did I know that the Temple editing residency program with Dr.
Trayes would be the springboard to a career that I love, and one that,
more than a decade later, still challenges me. Read More »

Eba Hamid of Hampton University interned this summer at The New York Times after completing a DJNF/Temple editing residency in Philadelphia. Above and following is a selection of language errors found while walking the streets of New York City in the summer of 2008, sometimes alone, sometimes in the company of other editing interns. All photos by Eba Hamid.

Read More »

Dan Austin spent the summer of 2003 at the DJNF/Temple editing residency and at the New York Times News Service. Two weeks after leaving, he was packing up his things for a cross-country move from Michigan to Washington state. He spent two years at The (Tacoma, Wash.) News Tribune and a year at the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch before meeting his biggest career goal: landing a copy desk job at the Detroit Free Press under legendary copy editor Alex Cruden. After two-and-a-half years on the news copy desk, he was asked to take over Nation & World desk duties and also spend a night or two a week running the copy desk as the “mover.”

I guess I’d have five main areas of advice for copy editors leaving college.

First, reach your mitts into every nook and cranny in the newsroom you can. In the changing world of journalism – one in which some papers are outsourcing copy editing to India – you need to be good; you need to be fast; and you need to be adaptable. Try to make yourself the go-to person, the editor given the deadline crunch stories, if you can. Read More »

In mid-August 2008, after their respective DJNF/Temple editing internships were over, Jessica Lin of the University of North Carolina (The Wall Street Journal), Katherine Santiago of Columbia University (The New York Times), and Ashley Thomas of the University of Missouri (The Associated Press) decided to make a road trip to Martha’s Vineyard and visit Dr. Edward Trayes, their editing residency director and teacher. Blog entry, photos and cutlines by Jessica Lin.

Martha’s Vineyard in 24 hours

When Katherine Santiago first asked me if I was interested in a trip out to
see Dr. Trayes, I was thrilled! How much fun would it be to get the whole
gang out to visit our beloved Temple Taskmaster again and catch up with how
everyone was doing? But it seemed hard to come up with a date that would
work for everyone, especially since the summer was winding down and some
people were headed back home or back to school. In the end, Katherine, her
boyfriend Nathan Gao, and Ashley made plans to take the train down from New York
City
into New Brunswick. I would pick them up in my car and we’d all drive
up through New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and finally to
Massachusetts, where we would take the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard. I was
really excited. I’d never been to Martha’s Vineyard before, but had heard
about it and was looking forward to seeing the island and, of
course, seeing Dr. Trayes again. I couldn’t believe a whole summer had
passed since those two busy weeks at Temple. Read More »

Tim Hanrahan was a DJNF intern in the summer of 1994 with The Wall
Street Journal’s copy desk, after training at Temple University. His
first job started the Monday after he graduated college in 1995, with
the Journal’s Web team as they worked to develop a site. In the years
since, and during several launches and wsj.com redesigns, he’s worked
in various editing roles, first at night helping to put up the next
day’s paper on the Web, then during the day as a technology editor and
general news editor. Today, amid efforts to better align the Web and
print news operations, he is a deputy national news editor for online
for The Wall Street Journal, which is a long way of saying he helps
guide the online news for wsj.com, working with traditionally print-
and online-focused editors both on stories and multimedia elements.

For starters, I can’t say enough about the Temple University DJNF
session. We barely touched a computer — I think we did some layout
drills on very old Macs, but that was about it. Instead, we worked
during the day on style, headline counts, geography, you name it. When
I got to the Journal, I still bumbled around a bit until I figured out
what I was doing, but the Temple program gave me enough confidence so
I didn’t feel overwhelmed or out of my league. That internship went
well enough so that the next year I landed a job with what later
became wsj.com.

Some advice: Work hard.This applies not only to your day job, but also
to special opportunities that pop up during the year, such as
blackouts, storms, the Olympics or the political campaigns. These are
the times when a relatively junior editor or writer can really shine,
and where the Web can help get good ideas some sunlight they might
not have gotten in a more restrictive print world. Read More »

Jerry Schwartz went to The Associated Press as a Newspaper Fund intern in 1976 and, aside from a year-long detour to get his degree at Penn State, has been there ever since. He was a reporter and editor in the AP’s New York City bureau for a dozen years, and has since been a national editor and writer. Currently he is editor in charge of AP Newsfeatures, the AP’s department devoted to long form journalism. He is the author of “The AP Reporting Handbook” and is among the writers of “BREAKING NEWS:How the Associated Press has Covered War, Peace, and Everything Else,” a 2007 history of the wire service.

I’m writing this from the main press center at the Beijing
Olympics
.

It is not a place I would have ever imagined that I would wind
up. But then, I am not gifted with a great imagination; nearly
everything I’ve done in my career has come as a complete surprise.
Which, come to think of it, is a pretty good reason for being in
this business. Read More »