Loyola University / Communication Internships

Baltimore Sun—copy editing

Copy editing internships
Academic interns on the sports copy desk learn how to edit stories for clarity, coherence, logic, factual accuracy, fairness, style, usage, grammar and spelling by working alongside the sports night content editor, who serves as the internship supervisor. Interns also learn to trim stories to fit the news hole; to write headlines and captions; to compile game roundups and agate packages from wire services; and to cross-check copy on page proofs.

Much of their night, especially early in the internship, is spent observing. They get to cut their teeth on anywhere from two to four files a night – usually short wire stories. The night content editor then goes over their work with them, redoing the headlines and captions as appropriate and reviewing all the editing changes. This is a much more time-consuming process than having a staff copy editor work the file.

Interns also learn to put together agate files by working with our editorial assistant, and – now that we work across multiple editing platforms – they’ll be exposed to our procedures for posting content online.

Additionally, interns scan page proofs to catch mistakes and offer suggestions for improved display type, but theirs are never the only eyes on a proof. As a teaching tool, the night content editor shows the intern what he and other copy editors spot on duplicate proofs of the same pages.

Each night ends with a short feedback session. As an extension of this, the sports night content editor writes mid-term and final evaluations for the intern and discusses them with the intern along with providing appropriate career counseling.

The sports copy desk has used internships intermittently for the past three years. The program has given us exposure to some of the most highly recommended students at local colleges, which in several cases led to paid work in the newsroom and at “b.” Equally important, the program enables students to apply classroom knowledge in a real-world setting (in many cases at their hometown newspaper), to experience a professional work environment, and to discover whether this is a career they want to pursue.

Trif Alatzas
Head of sports
The Baltimore Sun