It has come to my attention that no one understands what I do.

I'm a copy editor and designer.

Not a writer, not a photographer, not a metro editor or the publisher. I'm a copy editor and designer.

Let me break it down for you.

"Copy" = Text, articles, stories, cutlines (also known as captions), etc. Anything, aside from ads, on the newspaper's pages that has words involved? I edit it. (Thus the use of "editor" in my title.) I edit for grammar, misspellings, accuracy, flow and so forth.

"Designer" = Page layout. Reporters write the articles, photographers take the pictures, they put all of that onto the computer, which I then take and lay out on the pages, using a program called Adobe InDesign. The page is like a Word document, you know, blank, but InDesign is infinitely better than Word. In fact, I just threw up in my mouth thinking about having to use Word. Ever.

I just thought I'd explain that to anyone who still thinks I write for the newspaper. I never write articles. Ever. That's not what I'm paid to do. Nor do I ever take photographs for the paper. But I still work with those elements.

People forget there is someone in between the reporter and the paper showing up on their doorstep. That would be me. Without copy editors, all those articles and pictures would sit stagnant on computers in the newsroom.

So if you've ever read the news, in paper form or on the Web, a copy editor has had a hand in it.

Lucky you. Now you know that much more about the newspaper world.

My desk, in case you were curious. (Don't iPods take awesome pictures? Not.)

Close up of "desk personalization"

Oh, look! Even janitorial knows what we do!

(Just so we're clear, I don't write this out of resentment toward anyone. I understand that you're not obligated to know what I do. I just thought I'd inform you before you asked me what I've recently written for the paper. Because, you know, I don't write. For the paper. Ever.)


  1. Dude I totally knew what you did, however I appreciate the picture of your desk. I assumed you stood at a giant table with a back light and one of those magnifying glasses that you put over one eye to closely look at the print.

    P.S I always try to spell things correctly when posting on your blog, thus I had to look up "magnifying" why did I think it was magnifine? Which apparently isn't even a word.

  2. Yes, using a computer is much less exciting than actually cutting out articles...but you're still pretty cool because, as you said in previous posts, you don't ever get blamed for mistakes because no one, until now, knows what you do.

  3. So, have you written any good articles lately?

  4. You're SO funny, Mom. :o)
    It's true, Heather, I could totally screw up an article and readers would just blame the reporter. HA.
    And Amber, that's so funny. I've totally spell checked stuff in other situations in order to not look silly. I don't know if you know this, but I'm a pretty bad speller.