Press coverage: Jewels shine for ice gold

NISA has picked up the on the story run in the local paper, the Isle of Wight County Press, about the success of the IW synchronized skating teams at the British championships. It’s fantastic that NISA actually takes note of what happens in the regional press, and brings these stories to light.

NISA’s coverage atΒ http://www.iceskating.org.uk/node/4463, however, is an uncritical lift from the IWCP article (jewels_iwcp_03_12_2010) and as such repeats the editing of copy originally provided to the press.

Club members and parents are reminded that the press is at perfect liberty to edit reports to make them more palatable for readers. In doing so the editing process can introduce some emotive words to sex up the story (such as “revenge”, in this instance), change the order in which facts and figures are mentioned, change the emphasis of achievements, shorten and even delete copy and therefore remove references to particular teams or people, and introduce errors. It doesn’t just affect the County Press: all the stories from local papers reported by NISA will have had the same process applied to them, and the same caveats about accuracy and emphasis apply.

The press has its own idea of what makes a good story, and how to make a good story even better, and has a bunch of specialists called sub-editors to do just that (believe me, I used to be one for 20 years). Please bear this in mind whenever a report appears in the local press or on another website. In short, what has been published may not resemble what was originally submitted.

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