When Editors Talk About Their Journalistic Sins

By Jack Limpert

A back and forth with the editor of another magazine:

Editor one: I’m tempted to write about the seven deadly sins of editors. One I sometimes saw was treating writers differently depending on whether you liked them personally. Is this something you sometimes had to deal with?

Editor two: For all my sins, I don’t think I had much trouble favoring one writer over I really drilled myself and the staff that the story is all—we just want to make it as good as we  can. That overriding goal doesn’t leave room for favorites.

One of my sins was to sometimes think that the world thinks as I do. Of course, it doesn’t. But sitting in an office, surrounded by smart, cynical, verbal people, creates a kind of bubble. It’s easy to think that everyone has the same interests and instincts we do.

The marketplace is a harsh teacher. One time we pulled a quote out of a story and ran it on the cover. We all thought the quote was funny and applauded ourselves for making the magazine look hip. I probably got a hundred calls asking what the hell that quote was about.

Editor one: Another one, related to the world thinks as I do, is to pay too much attention to feedback you get from fellow journalists. We tend to hang around with other editors and writers, listening to what they talk about and what they like or don’t like. They’re not the real world.

Speak Your Mind