EditTeach.org offers resources for editing professors, students and working professionals to help strengthen the craft of editing and support the work of editors.
Editors are journalism's gatekeepers, upholding standards of accuracy, credibility and completeness. John Seigenthaler, founder of the First Amendment Center, opened the first Editing the Future conference by calling editors the "heart and soul" of journalism.
Editors have been the subject of many similes and metaphors, some as glowing as Seigenthaler's; a few, usually muttered in deadline frustration, have been less flattering. But none capture the spirit of editing better than James Thurber's description of Harold Ross, editor of the The New Yorker from 1925 to 1951, in "The Years with Ross":
"Having a manuscript under Ross's scrutiny was like putting your car in the hands of a skilled mechanic, not an automotive engineer with a bachelor of science degree, but a guy who knows what makes a motor go, and sputter, and wheeze, and sometimes come to a dead stop; a man with an ear for the faintest body squeak as well as the loudest engine rattle. When you first gazed, appalled, upon an uncorrected proof of one of your stories or articles, each margin had a thicket of queries and complaints - one writer got a hundred and forty-four on one profile. It was as though you beheld the words of your car spread all over the garage floor, and the job of getting the thing together again and making it work seemed impossible. Then you realize that Ross was trying to make your Model T or old Stutz Bearcat into a Cadillac or Rolls-Royce. He was at work with the tools of his unflagging perfectionism, and, after an exchange of growls or snarls, you set to work to join him in his enterprise."
EditTeach.org, launched under a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, is geared toward those who teach, study and practice editing. Dr. Deborah Gump is the site's director and editor.
The site is designed to help users find what they need as easily as possible. You'll notice that most pages indicate that "tags" have been given to entries and that many entries may have more than one tag. For example, the entry on how to create your own Grammar Smackdown! is tagged both as a teaching tool and a grammar tool. Tags allow the user to sort content by broader topic areas within the site's major sections, such as "Special Projects," "Tools of the Trade" and "Latest news."
EditTeach.org also is intended to be a place for editing professors and professionals to share information, resources and ideas that may be useful to their colleagues and to their institutions. If you would like to contribute to the site - or if you encounter a problem on the site - send an e-mail to Deborah.
Site development and hosting is by Stormline Media.