Welcome, Spring 2012 staff! This is the first of our What I Learned Today series. Copy editor Jacqueline Landreth is kicking us off – here are 10 things she learned during training today:
- Most headlines should be written in present or future tense.
- News headlines usually follow the “subject-verb-object” form while feature pieces have more room for color.
- When writing the crime box, never write “arrested for”, but instead write “arrested in connection with”.
- Good sports headlines often involve emphasizing humor, team rivalries, or wordplay.
- Don’t use the score in a sports headline when another word would be more interesting/useful/precise.
- When writing a cutline, avoid repeating the headline and the summary deck. Instead, try to introduce new information.
- When editing, always check sidebars, schedules, infographics, etc., in addition to the article for consistency and correctness.
- Have a standard process of editing, as it will reduce errors.
- Always use due diligence; cover your own butt as well as the paper’s.
- You are the readers’ best advocate, so act like it.
Share what you learned with the staff below, or email 10 things to email@example.com.