Week 6

For a treat: Seymour Hersh, Gammage, 7:30 p.m., tonight (Wednesday). Tickets free, but must be reserved.
Backstory material: "The Avenger: Sy Hersh, Then and Now," Columbia Journalism Review

For next week: Word 4

Job, anyone?

The Virginian-Pilot is seeking a News Editor. This person is senior editor at night and is responsible for making late-night calls on selection, play and placement on late-breaking stories in both the Nation and World section and Hampton Roads section. This editor is responsible for ensuring that The Pilot maintains its on-time record of 92% or more. This editor supervises the wire editors and makes sure that wires stories accurately reflect the day’s best news offerings and are presented in a compelling, interesting and efficient way. The news editor troubleshoots technical problems and any other difficulties that may arise at night. Essential functions • Ensure that The Pilot maintains at least 92% on-time record for both North Carolina and Metro editions. • Ensure that the newspaper is accurate, interesting and contains the stories people will want to read the next day. • With the wire editors and inside designers, think of interesting ways to package national and world news so that it is accessible and expressive. • With managing editor and deputy managing editors, ensure that we are making the best calls on the day’s news offerings and that the stories have the appropriate tone. • Work with wire editors and designers to make all pages as attractive and compelling as possible. • Supervise wire editors; do performance reviews and other tasks expected of Pilot team leaders. • Work 3:30-11:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Skills and knowledge required • Demonstrated excellence in news judgment. • Working knowledge of InCopy and InDesign or similar front-end system. • Ability to evaluate and prepare copy as both a reader and an editor. • Thorough knowledge of libel law. • Good sense of fairness, balance and tone in stories. • Demonstrated ability to work in a team setting. Other tasks • Ensure that plans made during the day are carried out by the night staff. • Stay abreast of the news and trends. • Be the final arbiter on questions about stories, photos, graphics, headlines, etc. • Slot stories as needed to ensure the deadline is met. • Ensure good page flow. • Proof all section fronts, inside A section, inside NC section. Checks for accuracy, quality of headlines and other display type. Ensure design style is followed. Make changes as needed. • Work with wire editor to ensure the wire report is up to date and interesting. • Attend the weekend meeting. • Makes calls on late-arriving stories, photos and graphics. • Edit local stories as needed. Education/Experience • Bachelor’s degree required • A minimum of seven years’ editing and/or reporting experience on a daily newspaper Qualified applicants should submit letter, resume, references and a critique of The Virginian-Pilot by Oct. 7, 2005, to Deborah Withey, Deputy Managing Editor, The Virginian-Pilot, 150 W. Brambleton Ave., Norfolk, VA 23510; deborah.withey@pilotonline.com

"Weasel words rip my flesh"
One of the banes of existence for thoughtful readers is overstatement, or the bogus presentation of a bunch of “facts” as a cohesive story or valid trend. So it’s rather surprising to see such an abuse appearing in The New York Times. A few days ago, one appeared on A1. Slate columnist Jack Shafer was so offended he wrote about it. Please read it (and the original story, which I’ll post temporarily to our class site (can't upload to blogger) in case the NYT link becomes inactive before you can get to it) and join in discussion. Also, have you any examples to add from other stories? Any stories that misrepresent polls/surveys? I look forward to hearing what you have to say. (Due 9/28)