Skip navigation
Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Producers

Copy That! The Troubles and Consequences of Bad Copy editing

TAGS:

It is easy to get caught up with all the tasks -- big and little -- involved in creating a news shift. Each second is filled with worrying about so many things -- what visuals we need, what sounds we want, who created those sounds, how long is the video, is everything sourced, etc. -- that we sometimes forget about the primary substance of news. The copy!

The trouble with bad copy comes down to two major issues: 1) making it difficult for the anchors to read naturally, and 2) not being able to effectively tell the story to the audience. A lot of times for me, it is hard to copy-edit the multimedia journalists (MJs) because it is hard to make the judgment of what is not clearly written and what is just my preference. There is the basic rules dictated by AP style, but allowing the MJs to write copy that is their style is where things get difficult.

Another issue with copy is its timeliness. I’ve noticed a few times that once a story has been written, I’ll assign someone to edit the footage for it immediately, and once it is done I move on to the next story. The problem is, many times a story will continue to develop throughout the day and we’ll need to revise the text to address the latest information.

Overall, it is important to remember what Stacy said about the rundown being a “living document." Things change and need updating constantly throughout the day, and it is crucial that we stay on top of the copy as well as everything else we do.

COMMENTS
Leave a comment
Name:
E-mail:*
URL:
Comments:*

Dozens Gather for Vigil Honoring Venice Lightning-Strike Victim


By Rachel Scott
07/30/14 | 9:37 a.m. PDT

A large crowd gathered at St. Charles Borromeo Church on Tuesday night to remember Nick Fagnano.

Four Arrests Made in Grad Student Killing


By Alexa Liacko, Faith Miller and Rachel Scott
07/28/14 | 4:01 p.m. PDT

Two adults and two juveniles have been arrested in connection with the death of 24-year-old USC grad student Xinran Ji...

USC Graduate Student Found Dead in Apartment

Pac-12 Media Day Sitdown with Head Coach Steve Sarkisian

Pac-12 Media Day Exclusive: Leonard Williams

Pac-12 Media Day Sitdown with Cody Kessler

We detected that you might be on a mobile device such as an iPad or iPhone. Sorry, at this time the video box is only visible on desktop computers.
MOST POPULAR

USC Graduate Student Found Dead in Apartment


By Kate Flexter
07/24/14 | 1:41 p.m. PDT

A 24-year-old Chinese USC engineering graduate student was found dead on Thursday at an apartment in the University Park area...

Victim of Fatal Lightning Strike was Transferring to USC


By Alexa Liacko and Rachel Scott
07/28/14 | 1:38 p.m. PDT

Twenty-year-old Nick Fagnano planned to study at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy.