Copy editors

The New York Times’ Editorial Observer by Lawrence Downes has an eloquent Elegy for Copy Editors. The piece begins with a lament that the Newseum in Washington has no exhibits about copy editors. In the changing word of online journalism, Downes worries, the time for thoughtful copy editing is vanishing. He lays out succinctly what copy editors do. Here is a quote:

The copy editor’s job, to the extent possible under deadline, is to slow down, think things through, do the math and ask the irritating question.

This article was originally posted by the Raleigh News & Observer, a subsidiary of The McClatchy Co.; is posted here to provide continuity; and is copyright © 2011 The News & Observer Publishing Company, which reserves the right to remove this post.