And when a copy editor has two decks to work with, well, he/she can tell a whole lot about the story. Or, make it up twice, as happened during the Charlotte Sun's editing session last night.
Subscribers were delighted to turn to page 5 this morning and read the news: Stock surge, investors feeling comfort! Hallelujah! Oh, my dear! Oh, my 401(k)! We are delivered!
But, hold on one minute. Plunging into the story, readers can't help but realize they must be awaking from the copy editor's
The lede: "Investors shuttled between optimism and pessimism ..." No feeling of comfort here.
Next graf: The federal economic recovery plan "sent stocks moderately higher in a partial rebound from a plunge"> the day before. No surge there.
Next: Stocks "meandered" for much of the day. No comfort. No surge.
Next, a real-person quote: "I think everybody is trying to get through all this news," the expert says. "Everybody has to digest all the tidbits of information. Everybody is looking for clarity, good, bad or indifferent." Hmmm. No surge mentioned, no word of comfort uttered.
Next: "Stocks had plummeted Tuesday ... on Wednesday the uncertainly continued." No comfort. No surge.
Next: "The Dow's 51-point rise is 'not a strong statement'" another expert opines. No surge. No comfort.
I know it gets old, but let's have the copy editors practice this until they get it right: The hed has to reflect what's actually in the story. No making it up up.
Running fantasy news is not going to return advertisers to the fold or make readers rush to sign up for year-long subscriptions. Fantasy news just makes editors and publishers look silly, unreliable, careless, clueless ...