New Age — a new newspaper here in South Africa — needs copy editors to keep it from making one of the oldest mistakes in newspaper headline writing.
Namely, this one:
This goof from today’s business section is particularly delicious — from a sixth grade perspective — because you could just about convince yourself that the story is about setting wages for sex workers or something.
The New Age is a newspaper that began publication here in South Africa in December, promising a generally more positive and constructive angle on government. Given the fact that the government here has proposed placing constraints on the media, you can imagine what the other newspapers — as well as potential readers — think about this approach. The paper had been scheduled to launch in October but, at the last minute, five editors resigned, causing folks to wonder just what the hell was happening over there.
New Age is currently edited by Henry Jeffreys, former editor of die Burger in Cape Town. I consulted for his newspaper while he was editor there. But he never spoke to me other than to say hi and welcome me to his newsroom.
Thanks to my colleague here who pointed out the headline and suggested I add it to my collection.
You know who else needs copy editors? Local TV news operations. And other local TV news operations. And Baseball jersey manufacturers. And Kansas State University. And the New York Jets, the Minnesota Vikings and the St. Louis Cardinals. And college athletic department ticket offices. And the Virginia general assembly. And college alumni magazines. And pharmacies. And Borders bookstore. And Tea Party candidates. And city and county Boards of Elections. And South African traffic cops. And Google Newsâ€™ â€˜bots. And billboard companies. And sign painters.Â And rubber stamp designers. And restaurants, breakfast joints and cake decorators. And the Washington Post, the New York Times, the New York Post, the Chicago Sun-Times (Hey! A repeat offender!), the Virginian-Pilot, the Green Bay Press-Gazette, the Carbondale, Ill., Southern Illinoisian, CNN and Time magazine. And newspapers in the U.K. And drive-in movie theater managers. And Home Depot and manufacturers of â€œhoodies.â€ And T-shirt designers.Â And road paving contractors.