Editing for Today's Newsroom

A Guide for Success in a Changing Profession


Editing for Today's Newsroom provides training, support and advice for prospective news editors. Through history, analyses, and anecdotes, this book offers a solid grounding to prepare potential editors for the full range of their responsibilities in today's newsrooms: developing ideas; evaluating and editing copy; working with writers; determining what is news; understanding presentation and design; directing news coverage; managing people; making decisions under pressure; and coping with a variety of ethical, legal, and professional considerations, all while operating in today’s multimedia, multiplatform news arena. Author Carl Sessions Stepp focuses on editors as newsroom decision makers and quality controllers; accordingly, the book features strategies and techniques for coping with a broad spectrum of editing duties. Covering basic and advanced copyediting skills, it also provides intellectual context to the editor's role, critically examining the history of editing and the changing job of the contemporary editor.

  • Taylor and Francis; June 2008
  • ISBN 9781135593971
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure EPUB format
  • Title: Editing for Today's Newsroom
  • Author: Carl Sessions Stepp
  • Imprint: Routledge

In The Press

Carl Sessions Stepp’s second edition of Editing for Today’s Newsroom arrives at just the right time. In today’s "anyone can be a journalist" environment, Stepp reminds us that editors and editing stand between journalistic mediocrity and excellence. Readers will find crisp technique, context and encouragement in this coherent, accessible text. Certain to emerge as the standard.

John F. Greenman, University of Georgia

Carl Stepp thoroughly understands every phase of editing. He knows editing’s past and present, and, most importantly, he leads us toward its future. Editing for Today’s Newsroom provides insightful point-by-point guidance on everything from applying basic grammar rules to making decisions about coverage.

This book will inspire the college student working toward his first rim job. It will restore confidence to the veteran desk person struggling to keep pace with a growing demand for speed (Don’t miss Carl’s discussion of the RECESS method). It will encourage a veteran reporter just promoted to a seat on the city desk. And it will motivate a longtime editor who’s striving to provide leadership in the changing newsroom environment. Anyone who edits, studies editing or teaches aspiring editors should read Editing for Today’s Newsroom.

Bill Cloud, Julian W. Scheer Term Associate Professor and director of the Summer Institute for Midcareer Copy Editors, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

A young editor once asked Carl Sessions Stepp whether editing was a job or a lifestyle. Stepp’s answer is this book, which covers the "breathtaking breadth" of editing as a way of life. Updated to reflect journalism’s transformation by the Internet, Editing for Today’s Newsroom is a guide to the job of editing in all its roles: leader, coach, quality controller, umpire – even, thanks to the linking nature of online journalism, brand manager. Stepp pulls powerful examples of the best and worst editors from his own career, as well as from the experiences of other professionals, to leave readers chuckling – and sometimes flinching, occasionally quaking. In the end, students of editing, novice and pro alike, are deeply impressed by the imperative to focus on the heart of editing – making news decisions that are grounded in fact and fairness and helping writers to express their ideas in the most effective way possible. If future editors heed the wisdom in this book, journalism’s future will be in surer hands.

Deborah Gump, Committee of Concerned Journalists

"[...] Here is what you should know about Stepp's second edition of Editing for Today's Newsroom: Buy it, read it, and savor it as a passionate testimony to, and a practical handbook for, editors everywhere."

-- Jan Leach, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly

"Readers will enjoy the bonus vignettes, short slices of real newsroom insight, such as proceedings from a paper's news meeting, problems student editors have dealt with, recommendations from former editors, cases, debates, and newsroom lore."

-- Jan Leach, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly

"This book should be circulated in newsrooms and classrooms to help energize and inspire editors; they deserve to celebrate the joy that is journalism."

-- Jan Leach, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly

About The Author

Author Carl Sessions Stepp is professor of journalism at the University of Maryland, where he has taught since 1983. He is senior editor of American Journalism Review and worked a reporter and editor for 12 years with the St. Petersburg Times, Charlotte Observer and USA Today. Stepp has served as visiting writing and editing coach at dozens of newspapers and news organizations and frequently conducts writing and editing clinics for newspapers, journalism groups and other organizations.