Editing and Design F’08

December 9, 2008

Editorials and Opinion Pieces

Filed under: Uncategorized — eddieroaddogg @ 5:00 am

One interesting topic I thought about regarding editing and ethics regards Opinion Editorials, or the OpEd page in newspapers. A friend of mine recently wrote a piece in the Editorial section of the newspaper regarding Coach C. Vivian Stringer and disparaging comments she made about her own team, calling them midgets.

http://www.dailytargum.com/opinions/1.1048159

I just have a few questions about editorials. How do editors go about editing a piece such as an editorial, where most of the piece regards opinions about certain topics in the news? Can you call the writer to discuss if he meant what he wrote and attributed, like some editors do with their reporters? What standards to people who write editorials have in terms of journalistic ethics and possible cases with  libelous remarks?

Edward Figueroa

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1 Comment »

  1. As one of the three editors who oversee the content that goes in to Targum’s Opinion section, I can tell you that there are two circumstances in which I edit the content. First of all, it’s all about fact-checking. If a letter is referencing a certain article, whether it was run in the Targum or elsewhere, it is important to make sure the topic in which the person is placing their opinion exists/is true and is properly attributed. The second is making sure that anything run on the Opinion’s page is not libelous/won’t get the Targum sued. There have been some instances, most notably with a few columns, where I’ve had to raise a red flag and inform the Opinions editor and the editor-in-chief that I was not comfortable running a column as it was. In the case of columns, there are opportunities for the piece to be sent back to the columnist. As for letters to the editor, if you read the fine print, the Targum has the right to not publish a letter if we so choose, and those submitting are warned that their pieces are subject to editing for length and clarity purposes.

    Jessica Gatdula

    Comment by jgatdula — December 9, 2008 @ 6:47 am | Reply


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