Saturday, October 20, 2007

A Nightside Oddball in a Dayside World

I'm a sucker for journalism quotes and for people waxing poetic about journalism and for people just discussing journalism -- oh, and also for people exhibiting a hatred of puns. So, I've especially liked the NY Times's Talk to the Newsroom with Charles Strum, the associate managing editor for nighttime operations (or somesuch long and not particularly descriptive title). Some gems from his answers to readers' questions:

"My guess is that newsroom oddballs come in two shades, dayside and nightside."

"[A]nd truth — to the extent you can know the truth without getting a degree in philosophy — is what we know at deadline."

"Spin? Gosh, that would be easy. News? News is like herding cats."

"And when the editors around here who write headlines write punny heads, they laugh out loud and show them to their colleagues. They, too, laugh — maybe — as they try to figure out if the author is seriously trying to submit the pun to the head of the copy desk. And then, when everyone's done laughing, they go back to writing headlines we can publish."

"The more obvious kind of wordplay (Rubber Industry Bounces Back) should be tested on a trusted colleague the way mine shaft air is tested on a canary. When no song bursts forth, start rewriting." [That one is from the NY Times style guide.]


Post a Comment

<< Home