Thursday, April 21, 2011

You Are Now Entering a Red-Pencil-Free Zone

Posted By on 04.21.11 at 08:30 AM

india_bulletin_thumb.jpg
The India Bulletin, a biweekly paper published in Chicago, makes an interesting boast. Under the nameplate at the top of page one, the Bulletin asserts:

UNBIASED — UNEDITED — UNBEATABLE NEWS DELIVERED DIRECTLY TO YOU

It's not uncommon for newspapers these days to read as if nobody edits them. But you don't catch them bragging. They're hoping nobody notices.

A Bulletin staffer who preferred not to be named explained: "Well, we don’t edit any of our stories from our news feeds. We don’t edit them from our side. Any stories that come straight from India, that’s the way we leave it. There are a lot of papers that edit it for their own personal agenda. We’re comparing us with a lot of our competitors."

So "unedited" means "no local bias introduced."

Which is a good thing. But in these challenging times, it points a way. Imagine a floundering newspaper asking itself if it should hire hire back a couple of copy editors — you know, so it stops spelling the new mayor's name three different ways in every issue. And deciding to take the opposite tack. "Chicago's only paper that guarantees 100% raw copy," it now claims. "No pasteurization! No additives!"

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