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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Clear Your Schedule For Copy Editing

And another one bites the dust. My teammates and I have all made the round robin and have had a taste of each job as lead producer, graphics teammate, and video teammate. Each job has its highs and lows, but they all have one thing in common and that is copy editing. No matter what position you're in, you have to copy edit.

For the graphics teammate, it might be copy editing a social media post. For the video teammate, you're copy editing what anyone writes for the newscast before they can edit the video for a particular story. The lead teammate is copy editing anything and everything that goes into the newscast, which can be their own story, teases, or any stories written by any of the multimedia journalists. Copy editing is one of the most important things to do before the newscast, but one of the problems is that there's just never enough time for it.

In Wednesday's newscast, I was the lead producer, which means it was my newscast for the day and I had complete control of the rundown. I had to write one story of my own, along with the teases for the show and it went from 3:30 pm to 5:45 pm in what felt like two minutes. I tried to copy edit here and there when I got the chance or if one of my producing teammates asked me to, but I couldn't copy edit nearly as much as I should have. I'm so thankful for my Executive Producer, Faith Miller, my teammates and some of the faculty advisors who always help copy edit. If I didn't have any of them, each story probably would have led with yesterday's news.

That's one thing I notice when I'm copy editing is that many people lead the story with what happened yesterday if it's a continuation of something that occurred the day before. It's so simple to fix but just a common mistake because MJs are just trying to get the story done as quickly as possible.

No matter what position I'm in, I've learned I need to be sure to make the time to copy edit. In social media if something is spelled wrong, then you can lose credibility. If something doesn't make sense in the newscast because of a copy editing mistake, then the same thing can happen. Copy editing is something so simple that really doesn't take much time but makes a world of a difference in the end when you're watching the show live.

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