Sarasota News Leader

12/07/2012

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With the Sarasota City Commission, the Sarasota County Commission and the School Board all meeting this week, you will find we have plenty of news in this latest issue. Sometimes people wonder why we cover certain topics and forgo others. The factor that gets the most weight in that equation for an editor is figuring which stories will be most engaging for readers. The second most critical factor is the amount of time our reporters have to write their stories — after they have listened to hours of discussion. For example, do we crank out three shorter articles, to give you a wider sampling of what took place, or just one long in-depth story about something we feel you should know? We hope you will not ever hesitate to tell us if we have overlooked something important you watched or about which you heard. Reader comments are most welcome in guiding what we do. As for getting those stories into their final versions: I introduced our proofreader, Vicki Chatley, to you when she joined our staff. Copy editors are the true unsung heroes of the news business. If you do not believe that, just think back to the last time you muttered something to yourself about a "stupid mistake" you spotted in print. I have been fortunate to work with several gifted copy editors through the years, but Vicki is one of the very best. Ideally, a copy editor does not just catch grammatical mistakes and misspellings, she also carefully considers the content. Vicki does not hesitate to let me know if something makes no sense, and that is the key to a good publication. Reporters have lots of information rolling around in their heads. We all need someone to read behind us and "digest" our stories, to make certain we include all the crucial pieces of information. Editor and Publisher

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