Unit 2: Editing

Principles of Editing

  • Reporters do the editing – the first phase of editing
  • The reporters’ job is to collect information
  • Eliminate mistakes
  • Bring out the newsworthiness (structure/tone/style)
  • Uniformity in language and style based on the guideline
  • Check spellings, grammar
  • 5 Cs – Clear, concise, correct, comprehensive, and consistent
  • Ensure the writing is objective
  • Principles of Editing
    • Accuracy – correctness – duty to provide correct news
    • Checking facts – names, titles, numbers
    • Brevity – keep it short stupid
    • Clarity – should be clear – avoid jargons – writing to express – also to re-write
    • Check sources, provide attribution
    • Prevent slanting of news

Process of Editing


  • Check language
  • Check facts
  • Refer sources
  • Word limit
  • Display Type – use headline, caption, summaries

Language in Editing

Checking facts


  • Full stop – end the sentence
  • Comma – separate clause, lists, parenthesis during fragmented sentences
  • Exclamatory (!) –
  • A question mark (?) –
  • Colon (:) –
  • Semi-colon (;) –

Correcting language

Rewriting news stories

Condensing stories

So the writer who breeds more words than he needs is making a chore for the reader who reads.” — Dr. Seuss

  • Omit unnecessary words

Sentence Structure

  • Sentence Fragments
    • incomplete sentence
      • Ex: Toys of all kinds thrown everywhere (Lacks subject & verb)
    • Complete sentence: should contain both subject and verb
      • Ex.
        • The wind blows.
        • Zack stayed up late working on an overdue paper
    • Run on Sentences
      • two independent clauses on their own – two ideas
      • Ex. The dog is whining; she is hungry – use a conjunction
      • Another possibility – use semicolon
    • Modifier – a group of words, part of a sentence that when placed in the wrong place – changes the meaning of the sentence – modifier should be placed close to the word that meaning is changing
    • A phrase placed in such a way  in the sentence which is unclear – what part of the sentence being modified
    • To correct the misplaced modifier, try placing the modifiers near the words they modify – could be a subject, verb or predicate
      • Only he liked Sarah -> He only liked Sarah -> He liked only Sarah
      • The car was stopped alongside the road with one headlight => The car with one headlight stopped alongside the road.
      • John told house friend had fallen from the podium

Process of Editing

  1.  Read the copy
  2. Check language and style

Sentences and structure

  • Punctuation
  • Sentence structure
  • Fragment Sentences
  • Run-on sentences
  • Comma splice
  • Misplaced Modifiers
  • Subject/Verb agreement
    • Subjects and verbs must agree in number
    • Prepositional phrases between the subject and verb usually do not affect agreement.
    • When sentences start with “there” or “here,” the subject will always be placed after the verb, so care needs to be taken to identify it correctly.
    • Subjects don’t always come before verbs in questions. Make sure you accurately identify the subject before deciding on the proper verb form to use.
  • Tenses and Style

Editing Agency Copies

  • Examples: Reuters, PTI, ANI

Electronic Editing

  • Software – MS Word – Track changes
  • Insert comments