Saturday, April 21, 2007

The story so far

Wow! Every year, I'm impressed by the dedication of the people who come to this conference. The people I've been talking with this year during the sessions, after the sessions, in the halls, and (OK, I'll admit it) at Mike's Bar are intensely interested in the language, the state of copy editing, and the future of journalism.

That's no surprise. But it's great to hear people draw away from the daily minutiae and put in their 2 cents' worth, or more (much more), about how we got to where we are, where we're headed, and why we should be headed somewhere else. And what the Internet means for the future of print. And how we can get people to read what we're putting in the paper. And how to get the stuff right that we're putting in the paper. And on and on.

These are thoughts that top-level managers need to hear. They need to understand that we're not just robots putting out the paper day to day; we're as concerned as they are about the future of journalism.

ACES will be exploring more ways to make our message heard; and ideally, we'll get some of these guys to our next conference to hear your thoughts in person.

Tonight we heard from some of our own at the banquet. Inspirational messages from Hank Glamann; this year's Aubespin scholarship winner, Matthew Dulin; J.A. Montalbano; and our Robinson Prize winner, Tim Lynch.

And how can I adequately say anything about Dave Barry? He spoke with tons of humor, of course, but he didn't avoid some of the touchy issues copy editors face in their newsrooms -- for instance, relations between the desk and reporters. You'll find reports elsewhere about that on the ACES site that do more justice to him than I can.

After he spoke, he could barely get out of the room, what with people wanting to talk, shake his hand, have their pictures taken with him, sign their books, have his name tattooed on their ... somehow I think I'd better get to bed and rest up for tomorrow.

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