The most surprising thing I’ve learned about journalism through my internships: The student-ran daily publication I worked at in college is more efficient than a lot of real-life newspapers.
What do I mean by efficient? Well, in college, when I submitted a piece as a reporter, my work was fact checked and grammatically corrected by three people: a copy editor, the chief copy editor and finally the editor-in-chief. If I ever had a question concerning the flow of a piece or an angle of a story, I could talk with one of my coworkers and we could work together to get things right.
At the two major publications I’ve worked at, when I submit a story, one person corrects it: my editor. That’s it. And, usually he/she goes through it only once. Why is this the case? Money is probably the most significant issue. At one point, both publications had a full copy editing staff; changes in the industry have disallowed that convenience now.
I guess also since reporters at the large publications are professional journalists, their work wouldn’t require as much editing as college journalism students. But, regardless of how talented of a writer you are, you will make mistakes, especially when you’re on a deadline. It worries me even more about the current state of journalism. I wonder: If you were to compare a newspaper from now compared to one 15 years ago, would there be a noticeable difference in errors in print?