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The art and evolution of headline writing


Al Jazeera 2017

How have headlines evolved, from their early days in the late 19th century to their bold modern digital descendants?

Digital verification video course


State department 2017

Short video for Russian college students as a part of a digital verification course created by the Bremner Editing Institute and the state department.

Question from ACES2015: Is it time to accept ‘they’ as a singular pronoun?

Poynter 2015

The Associated Press didn’t announce any earthshaking changes last week at the annual American Copy Editors Society conference. But Ben Zimmer did notice a recurring topic.  “It feels like at every session I’ve attended, singular ‘they’ has come up,” said Zimmer, a Wall Street Journal columnist and the editor of  Teresa Schmedding, ACES president and deputy managing editor/digital at the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, said she isn’t opposed to singular “they.” “But I’m also a fan of dropping whom.”

7 Self-Editing Tips for Reporters Without Copy Editors


American Journalism Review 2015

In honor of National Grammar Day 2015, American Journalism Review decided to offer self-help advice for reporters who increasingly are being asked to file stories without copy editors. Not only are some news organizations downsizing their copy desks for regular news stories, but many are expecting journalists to post quickly, without editing safety nets, for newer publishing platforms including blogs and social media. 

Everyday Grammar: Problems with Pronouns and Gender

Voices of America 2015

A student organization at the University of Wisconsin recommends using gender-neutral pronouns like those in the following chart to respect transgender individuals. Teresa Schmedding is an editor at the Daily Herald Media Group and a member of the American Copy Editors Society (ACES.)  At a recent meeting of the organization in Pittsburgh, she says some editors discussed the use of the pronoun “they.” Ms. Schmedding says some members were unhappy with the use of “his” or “her” in the stories.

Management isn't journalism's strong suit


Columbia Journalism Review 2014

Newsrooms have long hired and promoted based on journalistic chops, and often that alone. The problem, of course, is what makes for a great reporter doesn’t necessarily make for a great boss.  For one thing, as a percentage of payroll, non-news corporations spend nearly five times as much on training as do newspapers, according to 2008 graduate research by Teresa Schmedding, who’s now president of the American Copy Editor’s Editors Society, who wrote that “there does not appear to be a strong culture of management training at newspapers both among the managers themselves and within the corporate culture that sets the hiring practices and performance evaluations of managers.”

The Careful Calculations Behind Covering ISIS execution videos

American Journalism Review 2014

In her newsroom at the Daily Herald, Chicago’s largest suburban newspaper, Teresa Schmedding learned that Sotloff had been murdered from a CNN news alert on her phone. She walked over and quickly ducked in to relay the news to the top editor. Islamic militants had released a second execution video of an American journalist.

Copy editing's digital future


American Journalism Review 2014

Interviews with journalists at both legacy and Internet news outlets suggest that copy desks are slowly carving a niche into the digital media landscape, even if it’s a smaller one than in the print era. Teresa Schmedding, president of the American Copy Editors Society and a deputy managing editor at the Daily Herald in Chicago, said she considers copy editors “a natural fit” for digital journalism and social media.

Copy editors get digitally redefined

NetNewsCheck 2014

As newspapers morph into a 21st century medium, traditional copy desks are biting the dust, sparking concerns that accuracy will go down with them. Roughly two weeks ago, the copy desks at five Gannett-owned newspapers, including the Indianapolis Star, became the latest casualties.  

Hone your skeptical reporting skills


Radio, Television, Digital News Association 2103

It was the gasp heard around the world. An intern with the National Transportation Safety Board mistakenly “confirmed” the alleged names of pilots of the Asiana flight that crashed in San Francisco. Not only were the names fake, they were racially offensive puns: Capt. Sum Ting Wong, Wi Tu Lo, Ho Lee Fuk, Bang Ding Ow. Here are some tips on how to avoid making that mistake yourself.

Knight Foundation Sorry It Paid Jonah Lehrer: How It Can Put Its Money Where Its Mouth Is

International Business Times 2013

Following a public outcry that reverberated throughout the journalism community, the Knight Foundation on Wednesday said it should never have paid Jonah Lehrer for a speaking engagement in Miami this week. ... Teresa Schmedding, who is organizing a plagiarism summit at the American Copy Editors Society, or ACES, conference this spring, said the Knight Foundation has an open invitation to attend the event and be part of the discussion.

What Is Plagiarism? Industry Summit Seeks To Define Journalism’s Mortal Sin

International Business Times 2013

Is it okay to cut and paste a few words into a blog post? What about lifting paragraphs verbatim from a press release? A diverse team of journalists and academics are putting their heads together in an effort to answer these very questions as they gear up for what is probably the world’s first plagiarism summit. The event is part of the 17th National Conference by the American Copy Editors Society (ACES).

After Summer of Sin, ACES, SPJ presidents commit to plagiarism summit

Poynter 2012

After reading my recent account of plagiarism and fabrication the last several months, which I dubbed the “Summer of Sin,” Teresa Schmedding said she realized something needs to be done. “I was aware of the individual cases, but the inexcusable pervasiveness of it struck me when I read them summarized in your column,” she said in an email this week. “Even worse is that these are the cases we know about; it gives me the chills to think how many are never caught.”  Schmedding ... emailed the presidents of the SPJ, ASNE and APME to invite them to come together to set “best practices for newsrooms in dealing with and preventing fabrication and plagiarism.” She proposed they do so at a “plagiarism/fabrication summit."

Copy editor discusses changes in her job in a more digital world

WBEZ 91.5 2011

As newspapers change so too does the art of copying editing. In addition to fact checking and proofing grammar, copy editors now repackage content for the Web and mobile technologies, like smart phones. So, how does that change their day-to-day existence? Eight Forty-Eight turned to Teresa Schmedding, Assistant Managing Editor at the Daily Herald and President of the American Copy Editors Society.

Newspapers in crisis -- the copy editing question

WHYY FM Radio, Pittsburg 2010

Many of us are accustomed to getting our news from newspapers, and many of us are also familiar with the industry-wide crisis threatening their continued existence. But far fewer are aware of the behind-the-scenes work of copy editors, who toil in the dark (often a late shift) to fix the grammar, check the facts, and generally improve the stories filed by reporters and content editors. The copy desks of the nation’s newspapers are also suffering the industry slump, and today’s Radio Times will look at what they do, and why news readers should care. Guest host TRACEY MATISAK will talk with DAVID SULLIVAN, assistant managing editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer and a board member of the American Copy Editors Society (ACES); TERESA SCHMEDDING, news editor of the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago and new president of ACES; and MERRILL PERLMAN, former director of the copy desks at The New York Times.

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