chapter  4
Working with Words— and Their Writers
ByCarolyn Dale, Tim Pilgrim
Pages 16

This chapter breaks the fearsome and difficult task into steps that can be learned and practiced. An editor could disassemble a story to its primary elements and assemble them again, in essence, writing the story all over again. This will be tempting to those who are confident only in their intuitive ability to use the language. Writers endure terrible embarrassment when grammatical or factual errors appear under their bylines. Errors affect their professional standing and their credibility with their sources. Some writers turn in such smoothly written, grammatically clean and carefully checked work that their stories are a pleasure to edit. Expressing appreciation to them helps an editor's life stay in balance. Editing that keeps news values prominent, that limits personal details to what is needed to tell the story and that ensures that all elements contribute to an accurate context will avoid problems of sensationalism.