Posts Tagged ‘copy editors’

Meet the copy editor: Cathy Caudill

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Cathy Caudill is a Charleston native and a former Charleston Daily Mail intern, where she earned bylines as a reporter. After she worked for us as an intern, she went off to graduate school. A couple of months ago, we had an opening on our copy desk — those unsung heroes who edit stories, write headlines, design attractive newspaper pages and keep our website running on time.

We hired Cathy back for that spot, and she’s jumped right in. Because her duties are largely behind the scenes, you won’t see her name much. Here’s a little more about her:

cathy

Cathy Caudill

Name: Cathy Caudill

Lives in: Charleston, W.Va.

Hometown: Charleston, W.Va.

Position at the Daily Mail: Copy Editor

Graduated from: High Point University (undergrad); UNC-Greensboro (grad)

With a degree in: English Writing, History

Twitter handle: Deleted. (Please don’t make me get another, I tried and can’t make sense of it.)

1. What was your first job? Intern reporter at the Daily Mail. Or first full-time job? Copy editor at The Education Center.

2. What made you want to become a journalist? I love creative writing, but I’m terrible at coming up with original subjects to write about. I liked that journalism gave me an assignment.

3. What do you like most about your job? The least? I love being super informed about interesting things going on in town. The worst part is being super informed about tragedies.

4. What do you do in your spare time? I’m a big DIY-er and crafter. Lately I’ve been having fun with woodworking, making frames and doing wood-inlay. One day I want to make furniture. I’m saving for a power saw.

5. What’s your favorite journalistic effort you’ve produced? One of my first stories as an intern was about a man who’d had a double-lung transplant. It was a moving story, but I especially loved meeting him for the interview at his home. He was a taxidermy hobbyist, and there were taxidermied animals covering every inch of his home. It was bizarre and magnificent.

6. Name a personal item that is or will be on your desk: My Charley West mug. It was here when I got here, and I’m still not sure if it’s technically mine, but I’m claiming it. You’re not getting it back.

7. Your favorite blog you read or Twitter feed you follow: I follow NPR’s news and blogs pretty regularly. I read all day at work, so I like that I often get the option of listening to their stories.

8. What’s your favorite TV show? Book? “Parks and Recreation”; anything by Haruki Murakami

9. What’s your favorite place in West Virginia? The Potomac Highlands

10. What’s one newsroom quirk you were surprised about? There are more toys in here than a nursery.

One Giant Leap … and a Stumble

Sunday, July 20, 2014
See if you can spot the mistake in the centerpiece package celebrating the historic Apollo 11 moon landing.

See if you can spot the mistake in the centerpiece package celebrating the historic Apollo 11 moon landing.

As in any line of work, journalism is susceptible to mistakes. Unlike many, however, ours can happen on the front page where everyone can see it.

On Friday, I was very proud to see our 1A centerpiece celebrating the 45th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing.

It was lovely and had everything — an Apollo astronaut and the American flag on the surface of the moon. But, Charleston, we had a problem.

There was also a lunar rover in the picture. This was not an image from the historic 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing; this was James P. Irwin from the Apollo 15 mission in 1971.

In my position as managing editor, I also wear the hats of design editor and acting graphics editor, the latter of which means I’m mostly responsible for garnering file images for the publication.

We had planned earlier in the week to do a special front for Friday, so I quickly gathered photos from the Associated Press archives for our designer to work with.

Unfortunately, in my search, the image of Irwin was in the same batch of results as the iconic picture of Buzz Aldrin. In my hurry to grab good art, I failed to read all the captions and lumped them all together.

That was my first mistake.

The second mistake came when looking at the proof. I am now one of only a handful of people on staff old enough to remember the Apollo program. I knew the lunar rover did not go up on the first landing, but in my focus on the astronaut, the flag and the lunar module, I didn’t notice the second vehicle that shouldn’t have been there in ’69.

And now it’s part of the permanent record — with a correction forthcoming, of course.

If we’re lucky, aside from the chiding of an eagle-eyed readership, that’s the worst fallout of our mistakes. (The worst usually involves lawyers.)  The only salve we can apply is that we get another chance to do a good paper with our next edition and that we will try harder to be more careful in the future.

(Hat tip goes out to reader Patrick Baker who pointed out the error.)

A Top 10 front page focusing on tablets in the classroom

Monday, April 7, 2014

Congratulations to Charleston Daily Mail designers who came up with this Newseum Top 10 front page.

The Newseum often uses themes to determine its Top 10, and today’s had to do with wordplay:

The headlines in today’s Top Ten are more than a nice play on words. They made our list because they summed up the featured story in a few effective words; were clever without being too cute; and were simple without being overly simplistic.

The Daily Mail’s centerpiece focused on changing technology in classrooms. The design started with a concept by writer Samuel Speciale, who is a typography enthusiast. Graphics artist Kevin Cade got the image of the tablet ready to go. Managing editor Philip Maramba brought the centerpiece and headline together. And copy editor Samantha Ricketts brought it all home.

 

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Products of a good Putnam County education

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Two of our newest copy editors are proud graduates of the Putnam County schools system.

One is a Winfield High graduate. The other is a Hurricane graduate.

Yet they’re close friends.

They’re also excellent new contributors to our newspaper.

Kelsey Thomas is a Scott Depot native, a Winfield High graduate and a Marshall University graduate.

Andrea Rectenwald is a longtime Hurricane resident, a Hurricane High  graduate and also a Marshall University graduate.

I want to tell you about them because they’ve got local roots and also because, as copy editors, they toil behind the scenes. You might not see their names or faces in the newspaper too often, even as they make us look good with their page designs, clever and accurate headlines and clutch catches of mistakes.

Me: Did you have early journalistic experiences?

Thomas: I did, I did. My mom always said I should be a journalist when I grew up, but I never believed her. When I applied for college, I was forced to choose a major. I scrolled to one of the first on the list… “advertising,” and thought, “That will do for now.” That’s what got me into the school of journalism. I switched over from there. My first news writing class gave me terrible anxiety, but when it was over, I (for some reason) went back for more as an editor. I also wrote for a small online magazine for a while in college. I got to interview a lot of interesting people — including my favorite author Augusten Burroughs and Clint Eastwood’s daughter! That’s when I really knew I was going to grow up to be a journalist.

Rectenwald: My first journalistic experience wasn’t until my sophomore year at Marshall University. Advertising is/was in the School of Journalism, so I took a few required classes including Graphics of Communication where I learned InDesign. After that class my professor recommended me for the Executive Editor position at The Parthenon for the Summer 2010 session. Since the staff was small that summer, I was able to be a reporter, photographer, editor and designer.

Me: You guys are buds from Marshall, right? Please explain that.

Thomas: Andrea and I have quite a complex relationship. We had classes together at Marshall and also worked at the same movie theater at some point, but I was afraid to talk to her because she was so cool. Thus, it wasn’t until we were randomly placed together as roommates at Snowshoe post-college that the budship began. The rest is history.

Rectenwald: Kelsey and I have crossed paths so many times over the past six years, but we didn’t become best buds until we lived and worked at Snowshoe together. We have a mutual love of napping and butterfly gummies. She’s the bee’s knees.

Me: If you are a Winfield General, what is your position on the Hurricane Redskins?

Thomas: Winfield’s clearly the better choice. After all, we are the “Town of Champions” — that sign was erected during my tenure as a General. (However, I am sure I didn’t contribute to that — though I did go to states for tennis my senior year. One of my first opponents hit the ball so hard I covered my face with the racquet instead of hitting back.)

Me: If you are a Hurricane Redskin, what is your position on the Winfield Generals?

Rectenwald: Hurricane is clearly the better choice – from academics to athletics. The rivalry is fun though and I enjoyed attending the Hurricane/Winfield football game every year. Go Redskins!!!

 

 

 

 

Charleston Daily Mail needs a copy editor

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

As I’ve said before here, copy editors are the unsung heroes of what we do. And we’re looking for a good one.

dailymaillogoWe’re looking for someone we can rely on to catch our mistakes before they hit the press or the web. And we’d like for the same person to make our content inviting for people to read.

The person we’re looking for could already have newspaper copy desk experience. Or the ideal candidate could be a recent journalism school graduate. Or maybe the right person has an English degree and a flair for design and/or social media.

Are you the right person?

Here’s an advertisement we have running at journalismjobs.com:

Want copy editor for team-oriented workplace putting out award-winning product

The Charleston Daily Mail in West Virginia’s capital is seeking a copy editor/designer. We’re at an exciting moment. We just redesigned the newspaper and are embarking on a new content management system meant to give our content greater display and flexibility.

Responsibilities include copy editing, designing inside and section front pages, and maintaining and optimizing the publication’s Web presence. We’re affiliated with Digital First Media.

Ideal candidates will have two to five years of newspaper experience, strong copy editing skills and a bachelor’s degree in journalism or related field. We have won multiple General Excellence Awards from the state press association, have a hard-working staff, foster a supportive work environment — and enjoy Saturday nights off. Please e-mail resume and design and writing samples to Daily Mail Editor Brad McElhinny at bradmc@dailymailwv.com.

The Charelstn Dialy Mail reely needs a copy edtr

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Haha. Sort of kidding.

I could have edited that headline myself. But I need help. My staff needs help. We need you! (If you are a copy editor.) (Admission: The first time I typed that sentence, I wrote “coy editor.”)

dailymaillogoWe have an opening for a copy editor coming up in late December/early January. That’s perfect if you are graduating during that time period. Or maybe you have a couple of years experience as a copy editor and you’re looking to make a change for the new year.

Our copy editors are MVPs, and they are rarely bored. Not only do they edit, but they also write headlines, lay out pages in a pleasing way, work with photographs and, more and more, are active with our website — posting materials in a timely manner, producing photo galleries and videos, writing headlines that are both accurate and potentially viral and working with social media. Shwew! No wonder we need somebody!

Here’s the ad we recently posted:

The Charleston Daily Mail in West Virginia’s capital is seeking a copy editor/designer. Responsibilities include copy editing, designing inside and section front pages, and maintaining and optimizing the publication’s Web presence. We’re affiliated with Digital First Media.

Ideal candidates might be recent college graduates up to journalists with five years of newspaper experience, strong copy editing skills and a bachelor’s degree in journalism or related field. We have won multiple General Excellence Awards from the state press association, have a hard-working staff, foster a supportive work environment — and enjoy Saturday nights off. Please e-mail resume and design and writing samples to Daily Mail Editor Brad McElhinny at bradmc@dailymailwv.com.

Think you’re exactly right for the job? Drop me a line!