You and your copy editor: At Bleacher Report, it’s a conversation
There’s much more to Bleacher Report’s copy-editing process than just a quick proofread.
It may seem that a copy editor’s only duty is to provide minor touch-ups and then move on to the next article, but in addition to the short-term benefit of every correction, copy editors interact directly with the writer base in an effort to improve the long-term quality of both the site and an individual writer’s efforts.
Every time you publish an article, you’ll receive an edit from a trusted copy editor. All Bleacher Report copy editors go through a training program that covers essential B/R guidelines, such as our Content Standards and the B/R Stylebook. Once they’ve completed their training, they’re carefully guided through the process of editing on the site.
But it isn’t just editing.
Feedback from editors
Once a copy editor has finished reviewing your article, you should get an email notification that there is new feedback on the Article History page.
There, you’ll find a brief explanation about specific fixes that were made to your article. Sometimes these are one-off mistakes you aren’t likely to make again, but most of the time these feedback notes will outline issues or misunderstandings that could crop up again if you aren’t paying attention.
Feedback from editors is worthless if writers don’t see it. It’s equally worthless if writers don’t apply it to future submissions.
By reading feedback and incorporating it into your next article, you’ll set yourself up for steady improvement as a writer.
Feedback to or about editors
Editors are human too, so you may want to praise or question an editor’s changes. We encourage you to use the Editing Evaluation Form and the Copy Editors’ Corner of the B/R Forum to provide feedback.
You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org if you see an error on the site you’re unable to fix, such as an imperfection with the short version of one of your headlines (designed to fit certain site programming areas). Problems like this are rare, fortunately, but they do happen at every media outlet, and it’s always good to have extra pairs of eyes. The Corrections Desk email is a good way to get quicker attention on an unfixed error.
Finally, the site itself may not be human, but it’s not perfect either, and one of those imperfections right now is that copy editors are not notified if you reply to feedback on your Article History page. It will notify you of comments there because it’s your article, but the site currently can’t process notifications back to editors if you reply there, so the best way to follow up with an editor directly is to click the editor’s name and use the “Contact” link on the editor’s profile page.
Do you have any tips for your fellow writers about self-editing or helpful anecdotes from your experiences with copy editing? Share them below in the comments.
Nick James is a Content Moderator at Bleacher Report, part of the Content Standards team. Editing Manager Tim Coughlin contributed to this post.