Learning to Write: Six Months on a Copy Desk With Demonic Standards
By Richard Babcock
I think I started to learn to write—you never really stop learning—when I spent six months on the copy desk of The Record, a mid-sized newspaper in northern New Jersey. I landed a reporting job at the paper on the strength of my law degree—I’d never studied or practiced journalism, I just thought it sounded more fun than reading contracts. After six months covering a little New Jersey town, I got rotated through the copy desk, the regular procedure for rookies.