First, we heard about the death of the sub-editor. The sub-editor, they said, is expendable. Next, from Johnston Press, came the death of the editor. Don’t bother reading what you publish, JP told editors.
Apparently, editing has fallen so far out of favour that a piece on the Atlantic’s website by Alexis Madrigal is entitled “Why editing could make a comeback.”
But the piece, along with a recent essay by Paul Ford which it cites, speaks out for the value of editors everywhere, “those whose names do not appear underneath the headline”.
Here’s my analogy. We take good roads for granted in the US; our highway system just works, so you start to think of it almost as geology, almost immutable and close to eternal. But if you take a drive on the backroads of the Yucatan, the forest encroaches, large potholes appear out of nowhere, and the signage is indecipherable, regardless of your level of Spanish.
The Internet can feel like a jungle, and journalists are in the business of providing paths through the territory. Writers might blaze the trails, but editors maintain the roads. The vines are creeping and the potholes are growing. And maybe letting the road deteriorate is really the only way to make audiences and media companies realize the value of those whose names do not appear underneath the headline.
Full post at this link…
It’s all celebrations today. Spot.us is happy to announce its first community funded
news article, written by Alexis Madrigal, ‘ Changing Locomotion in Midstream – The Full Report’.
As we’ve reported before, “Spot Us” is a project of the Center for Media Change, and funded by the Knight foundation. It uses ‘crowdfunding’ – where an individual or group takes control of news by sharing the cost – to commission freelance journalists.
The Spot.us team are also pleased that their next news examples are on the way to completion, and their their future homepage is very close to being finished.
Spot.us, a project to fund community news stories by donations from that audience, has started to raise money for its first brief – a feature on the supply of biofuels to California.
This is the first project submitted to Spot.us, which was set up by David Cohn in May with the help of a grant of $340,000 from the Knight News Challenge.
The brief is asking for a 1,500-2,000 word feature with photos and has been submitted by Alexis Madrigal, a staff writer at Wired.com.
So far $50 has been pledged out of a required $250 with two contributions (one anonymous and one from Cohn himself) of $25.
The site is not-for-profit so the donations will be used to fund the journalism and get articles wider distribution through local media outlets.