In a world where the fastest news can be fact-checked with a simple Google search and edited for typos with Microsoft Office, it seems that copyediting is not necessary. As long as the writer uses spellcheck and has the “AP Stylebook” on hand, there’s nothing to worry about. Why should a newsroom hire copyeditors?
The Gannett Company probably asked the same question. Earlier this month, Gannett laid off at least 70 of its USA Today employees. A good portion of them were copyeditors. Considering its plans to become the “newsroom of the future,” cutting the jobs of many of its copyeditors probably seemed wise.
However, Gannett also is hurting its own reputation in the process. Copyeditors are meant to help fix typos and misspellings (Gannett’s own name, perhaps?). It is also easy to find an article online, but facts can be incorrect.
Without copyeditors, several sources for news are going to become less professional. When Gannett lost its copyeditors, it also lost its chance to become a more fair and accurate newsroom.