This pragmatic text helps students master the craft of copy editing--including both the editing skills and the "people skills" essential to professional success. Experienced newspaper copy editor and professor John Russial covers the fundamentals and more: how to edit for grammar, punctuation, usage, and style; attend to broader issues of fairness and focus; develop strong headlines and other display elements; and work collaboratively with reporters, other editors, and designers. Special attention is given to the copy editor's role as critical thinker and coach as well as resident wordsmith. Throughout, proven editing strategies are explained and numerous concrete examples and practical tips offered.
"Strategic Copy Editing offers a bridge between the world of stylebooks and reporting texts and the wider, unscripted world of professional copy editing. The emphasis on decision making, coaching, and critical thinking is particularly valuable to editors-in training moving from classroom exercises to real stories written on real deadlines by real colleagues. Discussions of headlines and story form show a solid, nuanced awareness of how the rules got there, when and why they might need to be refined or reshaped, and how editors can do so in a day-to-day, practical context. - Fred Vultee, University of Missouri School of Journalism; Russial has poured his impressive professional background into a richly comprehensive guide to editing. Beginning editing students will come away with a full understanding of what it means to be a copy editor. Advanced students will discover not only familiar topics mined with greater depth, but also topics seldom covered in typical textbooks; for example, how to work with the reporter as well as the story. The tips and strategies given at the end of most chapters offer advice that even professional copy editors would find useful. - Deborah Gump, E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, Ohio University; Russial's strategic approach to copy editing is what sets this book apart from others in the field. He looks at editing from the inside out, and from the outside in, and how the 'people factor' affects it all. The book is philosophical, yet practical. It's a tool that anyone teaching editing will find rich and rewarding. - Malcolm Gibson, The University of Kansas"