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Editing for the Digital Age

Editing for the Digital Age

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January 2015 | 200 pages | CQ Press
A Balanced Approach for the Modern Writer and Editor

Whether working in a traditional newsroom or as a one-person blogging operation, every good writer needs to become his or her own best editor. Editing for the Digital Age provides editors and writers with the tools necessary to ensure that published material is accurate, readable, and complete. The book provides guidance in copy editing fundamentals, including correcting grammar, conforming the writing to a style guide, and revising material so that it is tightly written and clear. The text is designed for today’s digital publishing landscape and addresses the many issues writers and editors now face on a daily basis—handling legal issues such as liability, copyright, and libel; writing headlines that will attract readers; creating multimedia packages to support an article or post; and using various forms of social media to curate content and connect with audience members. Chapters focus on key areas and themes for editing in the digital age, and "Write Right" writing and grammar exercises are woven into every chapter to progressively build students’ editing skills.

Chapter 1: You, the Editor
Traditional Editors’ Roles  
New Challenges  
Wrapping Up  
Chapter 2: Choosing Content that Clicks: Publishing for Your Audience
What New Publishers Can Learn from Old Media  
Finding a Niche  
Defining the Target Audience  
Creating a Mission Statement  
Deciding What to Publish  
Letting the Audience Lead You to Ideas  
Wrapping Up  
Chapter 3: Getting the Facts Straight
Common Factual Errors  
Myths, Hoaxes and Urban Legends  
Manipulation of Images and Videos  
Filling Holes  
Using Online Resources to Find and Verify Information  
Wrapping Up  
Chapter 4: Polishing Writing
From Writer-Centered to Audience-Centered  
Using the Appropriate Writing Style  
Offer a Unique Voice  
Avoiding Verbosity and Achieving Clarity  
Limiting Sentences to One Idea Each  
Wrapping Up  
Chapter 5: This One Weird Chapter Will Help You Grab Readers
Keep It Simple  
Make It Specific  
Size It Right  
When It’s Time for a Subhead  
How Print and Online Headlines Differ  
SEO and Why It Matters  
Trends in Online Headlines  
Captions and Cutlines  
Wrapping Up  
Chapter 6: Defamation
Defining Defamation  
Journalistic Privilege  
Differences in Status  
Satire and Parody  
Publishing Anonymously  
SLAPP Suits  
The Importance of Corrections and Clarifications  
Wrapping Up  
Chapter 7: Privacy, Copyright, International Regulations and Other Legal Issues
Privacy Issues  
Copyright Infringement  
Responsibility for Publishing the Statements and Content of Others  
Publishing Product or Service Endorsements  
Laws Affecting Recordings  
New Technologies  
Employment Issues  
Governmental Risks  
Fending Off Foreign Legal Threats  
Wrapping Up  
Chapter 8: Handling Matters of Ethics, Fairness, Taste and Sensitivity
Ethical Issues  
Making the Right Decisions  
Is It Time for New Ethics Codes?  
Wrapping Up  
Chapter 9: Managing Engagement
Internal Engagement  
External Engagement  
Anonymity and ConfidentialityCrafting and Using Social Media Guidelines  
Crafting and Using Social Media Guidelines  
Using Analytics to Learn More About Audience Usage and Preferences  
Wrapping Up  
Chapter 10: Curation, Aggregation and Creation
Curation and Aggregation  
Wrapping Up  
Chapter 11: Editorial Triage
Wrapping Up  
About the Author


Student Study Site
The Student Study Site includes chapter web quizzes and web resources.
Instructor Teaching Site
The password-protected Instructor Teaching Site includes additional chapter quizzes.
Key features


  • Using a Digital First approach, this is the first textbook of its kind to take a digital method while maintaining a strong focus on the fundamentals of copy editing and good writing.
  • Current cases and examples help students apply editing concepts to contemporary scenarios, bringing the issues to life and making them easier to understand.
  • Write Right sections progressively build students’ editing skills by stressing the importance of grammar and usage.
  • An Editor's Toolkit section in each chapter provides a wide range of resources for editors and self-editors.
  • Print and Online Student Exercises provide students with plenty of opportunities to practice the lessons taught in each chapter and improve their writing skills. 

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