Denver Post to lay off copy editors, shift copy-editing to ‘content-generating level’

Westword
Michael Roberts writes that his sources at the Post expect up to two-thirds of the copy-editing staff to be cut in a major workflow shift. My reading of the memo from Post Editor Gregory Moore is that reporters — the ones at the “content-generating level” — would edit one another’s work:

We have focused our attention on consolidating steps in the editing process so that traditional copy editing is done at the content-generating level. That is going to result in a reduction in the ranks of copy editors. Following this, virtually every job in the newsroom will change in some way. The editing and crafting of our copy will have to be shared throughout the newsroom.

Moore says in the memo that he’ll give details in a meeting Monday. I have sought comment from the Post and from Digital First Media; I’ll update if I hear back. || Update: Contra Costa Times editor announces similar changes, also resulting in staff cuts

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  • http://www.facebook.com/john.piggott John Piggott

    Almost 30 years as a copy editor have taught me that very few day-to-day reporters can look honestly and critically at their own work. It requires an entirely different kind of thinking. Good luck, Mr Moore.

  • Anonymous

    You can’t save newspapers by destroying them. Shifting copy editing back to assigning desks is an idea that has been tried and has failed. If you want quality, you have to staff for quality. If you don’t want quality, maybe it’s time to rethink whether you belong in the business.

  • Anonymous

    I think it’s been a long, long time since any news execs have seen raw copy — if they’ve ever seen raw copy. Because if they did remember what it was like, they’d know what a terrible, product-killing move this is. And I feel for all the folks left behind, who will have 10 times as much work, 100 times as much pressure — and still have to deal with pay cuts and no guarantee of a job the next day. The execs, however, are busy using the eliminated staffers’ salaries to craft bonuses and golden parachutes for themselves. It’s just so morally corrupt and bone-headed at the same time.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ISTWNDCD73NV4IAWP3EQ7VDVCE S

    The quality of journalism is getting worse by the day due to lame decision-makers such as Moore.

  • http://www.poynter.org Poynter

    Roberts uses unnamed sources for his statement that up to two-thirds of the copyediting staff could be cut, but Moore’s memo says that the changes will result in copyediting staff cuts.

    Steve Myers
    Poynter.org

  • http://www.poynter.org Poynter

    Roberts uses unnamed sources for his statement that up to two-thirds of the copyediting staff could be cut, but Moore’s memo says that the changes will result in copyediting staff cuts.

    Steve Myers
    Poynter.org

  • Christopher Harrop

    Just remember, you’re aggregating a blog post with unnamed sources. Just sayin’.

  • George Schwarz

    I hope they make such a libelous mistake that they lose a lawsuit that hands Greg Moore and Dean Singleton their balls on a sliver platter. This is typical Denver-type stuff anyway. Business in Denver has one of the most work-exploitive orientations. After all, “‘Tis a privilege to live in Colorado.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000268550326 Dana Parker

    As a daily reader of the Denver Post, I was convinced most of the copy editors had already been laid off. 

  • Anonymous

    The Denver Post sadly doesn’t report much news after 5 p.m. in the newspaper. Never get any West Coast scores any more. I wonder if they’ll ever get Colorado Rockies road games in Calif. or Denver Nuggets playoff games in L.A. in the paper. The owners of the Post have no business running a newspaper. Lay off the important people (reporters, copy editors, circulation staff, etc.) and keep paying millions to VPs.

  • Anonymous

    The Denver Post sadly doesn’t report much news after 5 p.m. in the newspaper. Never get any West Coast scores any more. I wonder if they’ll ever get Colorado Rockies road games in Calif. or Denver Nuggets playoff games in L.A. in the paper. The owners of the Post have no business running a newspaper. Lay off the important people (reporters, copy editors, circulation staff, etc.) and keep paying millions to VPs.

  • http://twitter.com/andybechtel Andy Bechtel

    Copy editors “generate content” in the form of headlines, captions, slideshows, etc.

  • http://www.facebook.com/edit4life Daniel Hunt

    Putting that newspaper to bed every night is going to be fun …

  • Anonymous

    One possible source of income for laid-off copy editors:  appearances on “Jeopardy!”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001955311479 Geoffrey M Giordano

    One word: Moronic. 

  • George Hesselberg

    Thanks for keeping on this, Steve.  Sad.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dan-Berman/100000669729095 Dan Berman

    The memo should have added that this will result in more fact and grammatical errors. We apologize in advance.