May 24th, 2010
Editors give “spit and polish” to written documents of every kind. If you’ve read a novel, a biography, a magazine, a newspaper article, or a manual for your toaster, and found it easy to understand and digest, you’ve been quietly helped along by an editor. Some editors just check punctuation and grammar, while others completely restructure works by an author who seems to need “an assist,” and content editors choose what you will and won’t read in their publication(s). A great article explaining this is:
Gary Kamiya’s “Let Us Now Praise Editors”
Also, the entire publishing industry is trying to deal with the advent of the “blogosphere,” which puts the printed word in a precarious position, especially editors. Some in the industry are trying to ignore the blogosphere, others embrace it. Reading tools like the Amazon “Kindle” and the Barnes and Noble “Nook” constitute an attempt to deal with the digitalization of reading. The famed (albeit controversial) editor Tina Brown has gone to digital reading matter entirely, with her site, “The Daily Beast,” which has been loudly declaring the end of printed matter for several years:
Whichever side of the fence you’re leaning toward, just remember that it’s better jump down than to fall.