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Dynamics of Media Editing

Dynamics of Media Editing

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February 2019 | 248 pages | CQ Press

As traditional newsrooms staffed by journalists and managed by experienced editors become less and less common, there is an even greater need for all types of professional writers to be fluent in the editorial process. Dynamics of Media Editing emphasizes the broad value of editing as both a tool for journalistic management and an essential skill for individual writers of all stripes. Author Vince F. Filak recognizes editing as an essential process for improving the quality of published writing, something that is relevant and essential to investigative journalists, social media interns, celebrity bloggers, and everyone in between. By organizing the book around skills and by platforms, Dynamics of Media Editing shows students how the basic principles of good editing work across disciplines and media platforms.

 Key Features

  • The emphasis on transferrable skills and multiple platforms shows students how to use the basic principles of good editing for journalism, PR, advertising, or social media marketing.
  • The book takes a broad approach to editing, demonstrating that it’s not just a skill for managers at newspapers, but rather an essential process for improving all aspects of published writing. This addresses a critical course challenge, in that many students don’t see the relevance of editing in their planned careers.
  • The audience-centric method emphasizes the need to engage one’s audience in order to be a successful writer.
  • “Helpful Hints” boxes provide easy-to-consult lists of dos and don’ts for good writing.
  • “Thoughts From a Pro” boxes allow media professionals from a variety of backgrounds to demonstrate the essential function of the editing process in the workplace.

Instructors, sign in at for test banks, additional exercises, and more!

About the Author
Chapter 1: Audience-Centric Editing
Editing for an audience

VIEW FROM A PRO: Brody Karmenzind

Media users today

How to define your audience

HELPFUL HINTS: How to Figure out Who Is in Your Audience

What attracts an audience?

The Big Three

Chapter 2: Editors as Leaders and Managers
Preparing to be an editor

The job of an editor

HELPFUL HINTS: Checklist of Important Skills

VIEW FROM A PRO: Penny Fisher

The editor as a manager

HELPFUL HINTS: Define Your Leadership Style

Coaching writers

The Big Three

Chapter 3: Law and Ethics
Freedom of the press and common misconceptions of it


VIEW FROM A PRO: Frank LoMonte

Techniques to avoid libel concerns

Defenses against libel

HELPFUL HINTS: How to Determine if Something Is Opinion

Communications Decency Act

Invasion of privacy


Online limits to liability

HELPFUL HINTS: The Steps Under Ocilla

Creative Commons

Ways to Avoid Copyright Concerns

The Big Three

Chapter 4: Ethics
Ethics defined

Models of ethics

Audience standards and the Breakfast Test

Establishing rules and guidelines

HELPFUL HINTS: Defining Types of Information and Sources

Management and ethics

VIEW FROM A PRO: Allison Hantschel Sansone

Working with staff members

The balancing act

Visual ethics

An ethical thought process

The Big Three

Chapter 5: Punctuation
End Marks That Stop

Internal marks that pause

HELPFUL HINTS: Defining Key Terms

VIEW FROM A PRO: Brian Cleveland

Specialty marks that explain

HELPFUL HINTS: The 5-Minute AP Style Guide

The Big Three

Chapter 6: Improving sentences and using proper grammar
How to tighten writing

HELPFUL HINTS: Weak Adjectives and Adverbs

HELPFUL HINTS: Empty Phrases

Correct usage

VIEW FROM A PRO: Chris Drosner

Irregular verbs

Problem pronouns


The Big Three

Chapter 7: Editing for the bigger picture
Editing for the bigger picture

HELPFUL HINTS: Questions Regarding Accessibility

The editing process

Editing versus fixing

The first pass

The deeper edit

VIEW FROM A PRO: Reed Fischer

Cutting copy

Filling holes

How to criticize effectively

The Big Three

Chapter 8: Headlines
How headlines work

HELPFUL HINTS: How to Write an Audience-Centric Headline

HELPFUL HINTS: Basic Terms of Headlines

The core of a good headline

HELPFUL HINTS: Headlines and Style

Things to do before writing a headline

VIEW FROM A PRO: Lindsay Powers

Key Elements of Writing a Headline

HELPFUL HINTS: Mistakes That Can Lead to Bad Headlines

Things to do after writing a headline

HELPFUL HINTS: Headline Checklist

SEO and headlines

The Big Three

Chapter 9: Photography
Elements of a quality image

HELPFUL HINTS: Shots and Values

Working with photographers

VIEW FROM A PRO: Will Vragovic

Improving images as an editor

HELPFUL HINTS: Types of Photos

Caption writing

The Big Three

Chapter 10: Information Graphics
Basic Things a Graphic Should Do

HELPFUL HINTS: The Anatomy of a Good Graphic

The spectrum of graphics

VIEW FROM A PRO: Kori Rumore

The Big Three

Chapter 11: Publication Design
Basic principles associated with design

Design considerations for color and background





Photos, graphics and other visuals

HELPFUL HINTS: Gestalt Principles

Creating your pages

HELPFUL HINTS: Design disasters to avoid
The Big Three

Chapter 12: Editing for News
Important editing issues related to news


Story assignments

HELPFUL HINTS: Beat Reporting

Content consideration


HELPFUL HINTS: Thinking about Linking

Basic rules for linking

The Big Three

Chapter 13: Social media
Social media defined

Why Is Social Media Valuable?

Building a social media audience

HELPFUL HINTS: Tips for Tweeting

Social networking sites

Social news sites

VIEW FROM A PRO: Kelli Bloomquist

Web comments

Disadvantages of social media

The Big Three

Chapter 14: Editing for Public Relations
What Is PR?

Microediting in PR

VIEW FROM A PRO: Elizabeth Connor

Editing to accentuate the key elements of persuasive writing

HELPFUL HINTS: Key Elements to Include for News Releases


The Big Three

Chapter 15: Editing and marketing
Marketing basics

Editing for copy writing

Marketing your own organization digitally

HELPFUL HINTS: A Look at Analytics


Search engine optimization

How to optimize your site

Social media marketing

The Big Three



Instructor Teaching Site
  • Test bank provide a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity to edit any question and/or insert your own personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding
  • Chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides offer assistance with lecture and review preparation by highlighting essential content, features, and artwork from the book.
  • AP Style Exercises test your students' knowledge of AP style and provide opportunities for them to practice writing in this style.
  • Editing Assignments enable students to broaden their reporting skills and practice writing.

Nicely organized with a wide variety of examples of news editing rather than just relying on basic mechanics of editing.

Professor Elizabeth Haller
Languages, Literature, and Communication Studies, Northern State University
August 10, 2020

The text was very comprehensive for the students and it provided terrific examples.

Professor Byron Keys
Mass Communications Dept, Mississippi Valley State Univ
July 22, 2020

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781506379135

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