Get rid of editors at your own risk

By · Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

An onion.

Skin.

Lasagna.

What do these have in common?

If you think about the journalism profession and how it is evolving — or devolving in some cases — you will know the answer right away.

Traditional print newsrooms are shrinking. They are changing. They are striving desperately to survive. All good.

New models are emerging. Fewer editors or no editors. Journalists gathering, writing and then publishing on their own. Not so good in some cases.

Here’s when the new model doesn’t work so well:

You get the idea.

Quality control is part of any process. Checks and balances, too. When you have surgery. When you buy a car. Even when you purchase underwear. Remember the TV ad for Hanes? An inspector on the line would bellow out: “They don’t say Hanes until I say they say Hanes.” Effective. Consumers got the sense that the company cared.

Media companies today care, too. So do writers and reporters and all of the talented journalists who are gathering and sharing news and information. Let’s not take that away from them.

But … let’s not kid ourselves, either. You can’t take away quality control and checks and balances and expect not to see a difference.

Everyone needs an editor. And editors are not plodding, get-in-the-way, hold-up-progress, unnecessary parts of the process. They have been — and should be — there for a reason.

Layers.

That’s the answer to the question.

Some things need layers — or they just don’t exist.

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