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Plug in; keep up

I know that it occupies a lot of your attention and energy to keep up with the Kardashians and other vital matters, but if you can spare a few moments, here are some things that you might find informative and useful:


New rules and old rules being retired in the forthcoming sixteenth edition of The Chicago Manual of Style, thanks to The Subversive Copy Editor:


A succinct summary at Language Log about the brouhaha over Andrew Breitbart’s credulous dissemination of the maliciously edited video that has cost Shirley Sherrod her job at the Department of Agriculture. Beyond the circumstances of this particular case lies the troublesome issue of how much responsibility bloggers and online publications can be expected to take to verify material before publishing it.


Though focused on, Craig Silverman’s article on the need for a well-thought-out corrections policy for online publications has wider implications.


Andy Bechtel presents an interview with Julie Wildhaber, who explains the rationale behind Yahoo’s style guide.



Posted by John McIntyre at 12:00 PM | | Comments (3)


I've been a Breitbart supporter and an NAACP critic before, but this was just appalling. You never publish something so potentially damaging unless you've made sure you know all there is to know about it. That's not even journalism, that's being a good citizen.

Honestly, I hardly blame Breitbart, raging lib though I am: he is what he is. He does what he does. But knowing what he is, how on earth could credible news organizations have run this story without great skepticism? And even more, how could the Obama administration have reacted so foolishly? I get that they wanted to avoid the appearance of partisanship or foot-dragging, but good lord, any idiot listening to the tape and knowing who'd disseminated it ought to have had a few questions before tossing Sherrod to the guillotine.

I'm really disappointed in the administration response. Politics over content, again.

Absolutely true about the administration. I guess I'm just a little more upset with Breitbart because when you live as close to the edge as he does, one ethics breach makes it easy (or proper, in some circles?) to dismiss his better work.

But agreed about the layers of suspicion -- he's an activist, not a journalist. There's a lot of activisim going around right now that passes for journalism if you don't read it very close.

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About John McIntyre
John McIntyre, mild-mannered editor for a great metropolitan newspaper, has fussed over writers’ work, to sporadic expressions of gratitude, for thirty years. He is The Sun’s night content production manager and former head of its copy desk. He also teaches editing at Loyola University Maryland. A former president of the American Copy Editors Society, a native of Kentucky, a graduate of Michigan State and Syracuse, and a moderate prescriptivist, he writes about language, journalism, and arbitrarily chosen topics. If you are inspired by a spirit of contradiction, comment on the posts or write to him at
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