Though their voices are seldom heard and their names are often unknown, their touch is everywhere. Copy editors, who work behind the scenes after nearly everyone else has gone for the day, are increasingly stepping forward at their publications. Sixteen of them found their voices last week at Poynter, and out of the Advanced Copy Editing seminar come these 10 things they think you ought to know -- and appreciate -- about the people who work alongside you, editing your copy. -- Sara Quinn




  1. We care deeply about accuracy and credibility.

  2. We're here to help; we're not the enemy.

  3. We're detail-oriented -- because readers are.

  4. We have wide-ranging interests and expertise.

  5. We ask questions because we don't have all the answers.

  6. Ours is a difficult craft and we're working hard to improve. We know you're trying hard, too.

  7. We love a good story. We're excited about good work. We're all journalists, after all.

  8. We love to show grace and humor under pressure.

  9. We fix mistakes, but we don't rub them in your face.

  10. We might often be thought of as anonymous, but we never want to be voiceless.

  11. We're often the people who carry a vision through to the end.

  12. We accept the responsibility of being the last line of defense.

  13. We do our very best work when we collaborate with our colleagues throughout the newsroom.

  14. And as this started out as a Top 10 List, it's obvious that we can't write short either.
"Advanced Copy Editing" seminar participants:
Stephen Cheslik, Assistant News Editor, The Post-Star
Frank Christlieb, News Copy Editor/Universal Desk, The Dallas Morning News
Glen Cullen, Copy Chief, Army Times Publishing Co.
Michael Deas, Assistant Subject Editor, Chicago Tribune
Dory R. Knight, Regional News Editor, St. Petersburg Times
Erika Konowalow, Copy Editor/Designer, The Columbus Dispatch
Yoko Kuramoto-Eidsmoe, Desk Editor/Features, The Seattle Times
Evelyn Lau, Copy Editor, Los Angeles Times
Cindy Liu, Copy Editor, San Jose Mercury News
Terry Mikesell, Features Copy Editor, The Columbus Dispatch
Craig Neddle, Assistant Copy Desk Chief, The Denver Post
Pamela Nelson, Features Copy Editor, The News & Observer
Kevin Ogen, Editor, The Monitor, Kampala, Uganda
Cherie Peacock, Associate Editor, Our Sunday Visitor
John Powers, Business Copy Editor, Houston Chronicle
Andria Yu Gephardt, Copy Editor, The Baltimore Sun


"Advanced Copy Editing" seminar faculty:
Anne Glover, AME, St. Petersburg Times
John McIntyre, AME/Copy Desk, The Baltimore Sun
Ron Smith, Deputy Copy Chief, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
Ron Reason, Vice President/Creative Director, Garcia Media
Sara Quinn, Visual Journalism Faculty, The Poynter Institute