As much as we at Executive Ink love the brash, brave new form of journalism being created by Vice and other new media outlets, their lack of professional copy editing makes it hard to slog through their otherwise fascinating features.
The American Copy Editors Society (ACES) agrees: “People who don’t think online audiences see value in editing might be surprised,” Fred Vultee wrote in his piece “More Advice for Vice: Why Hiring Copy Editors Is a Really Good Idea” on the American Copy Editors Society’s website. “Readers are busy, but they aren’t dumb.”
A two-year-old study by ACES contradicted the industry notion that “online audiences don’t notice the majority of the work a copyeditor does.” Readers responded much more favorably to edited articles.
But, wrote Vultee, even though readers “can tell a man eating tiger from a man-eating tiger . . . they appreciate it when copy editors decide not to obsess about hyphenating constructions like ‘school board candidate’ and instead concentrate on the clarity and structure.”
For nearly two decades, Executive Ink’s Tom O’Connell has been like the perfect bassist in the band, whose work, if he’s doing his job right, is invisible to the untrained eye.