What skills do copy editing students need to bring to the workplace?
When it comes to this question, copy editing may be a little bit like baseball. You get drafted because you know the fundamentals. But you better be willing to learn lots of new things on your way up.
Doug Fisher, who authors the Common Sense Journalism blog when he's not teaching at the University of South Carolina or doing sessions for ACES, suggests editing students of today get familiar with SMS, read the e-media tidbits on Poynter.org and generally be open to new ways of delivering information to their audiences. Fisher, David Sullivan of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Diego Sorbara of the Rocky Mountain News talked Saturday morning about the changing industry. They all agreed that, on some level, we can't guess what's coming up, but we can make ourselves ready. Diego, who only recently went from the world of college to the work world, said people at the paper just expect him to understand the new media world because he's young. He and Doug agree that young copy editors have a wonderful opportunity to influence the industry of the future. It might take some beating your head against the wall, but as David said, you'll know when to stop beating your head when the wall moves.