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Editing a copy is not just a simple task of correcting

errors in grammar and facts. Unchecked data, which

often injected in the copies submitted by neophyte
writers, if unnoticed, could put both story and the
paper in the bad light.

Modern page designing can now be done

through the special kind of computer software. It has
a spell check and thesaurus capability, making the
work of the copy editor easier.

Functions of Copy Editor

1. Check facts.
2. Correct errors in grammar, spelling, punctuation,
usage, organization and others.
3. Improve news values.
4. Write effective lead.
5. Cut or delete irrelevant materials.
6. Delete editorializing materials in a news.
7. Guard against libelous statements.
8. Write headlines and decide its typography.

9. Make copy simple and clear.

10. Make copy conform to the newspaper style sheets.
11. Give instruction to the typesetter regarding font type
and font size to be used and the number of columns
and ems.
12. Indicate corrections by using the copyreading marks.

Copyreading Procedures
1. Double or triple space-typewrite all copy on standard 8
by 11-inch paper. The spaces between the lines are
for writing corrections.
2. In the upper left-hand corner of the paper, about onehalf inch from the top, write your name and a guideline
or slug to indicate the nature of the story. For example
kidnap for news about kidnapping, typhoon for a
typhoon story and GMA for news about Pres. Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo. The slug is used for identification
and for record purposes.

3. Start typing the story about three or four inches from

the top of the page, leaving one-inch margin at the left
and right sides. The wide margin at the top is for
instruction to typesetter and for headline.
4. Indent five or ten spaces at the start of each paragraph.
5. End each page with a paragraph. Do not cut paragraph
and continue on the next page.
6. Write more at the bottom of the page of unfinished story
and continue on the next sheet. Do not use the back
page of the paper.
7. On the second page, instead of numbering as page 2,
label it first add or add one followed by the slug.
Example, first add kidnap or add one kidnap.

8. End the story with number 30 or (#).

9. After typing the story, though the use of soft-leaded
pencil and copy reading marks, correct errors and
improve it.
10. If the copy could hardly be read because of so
many corrections, retype it if time permits to
facilitate editing and typesetting.

Copyreading Marks

My Brother
Change to
small letter


Spell out

Twenty four



Change to



Life is a wonderful
gift from god

Indent as a new

and die. Life is a

Start a new
Reorient our our values

No Human nature

No paragraph


life new


Sal vation

Transpose letters
or words

Delete letter or
letters within

Close up

You can never

be great
unless you are

Stream in the desert

Punto de Vista

Set in bold

Set in italic

Mirror of life
It was decided by
by the group

broad day light
Stay as is
The road to greatness

Huwan dela Serna

Spell as
Elementary algebra
the book he is

There is more to

There is more to
General Santos City than
General Santos City than meets the eye, for amidst its
meets the eye, for amidst its economic grandeur lies
economic grandeur lies its
cultural treasures.
its cultural treasures.
Move text to the down Move text up

The whole paragraph is

full of errors, not only in
grammar but also in

There is more to General

Santos City than meets the
eye, for amidst its economic
grandeur lies its cultural

Delete many lines or Move text to the



There is more to
General Santos
City than meets
grandeur lies its
cultural treasures.

Move text
to the left

Heyo kem daw.

There is more to General

Santos City than meets the
eye, for amidst its economic
grandeur lies
its cultural treasures.

Good day

In bold or
light face

Align text at the

right margin

There is more to General

Santos City than meets
the eye, for amidst its
economic grandeur lies
its cultural treasures.

Align text at the

left margin




End marks

To insert punctuation

exclamatory point

opening quote




closing quote



question mark



Headline Writing
News has no titles but headlines. Headlines are
windows of the newspapers as they serve as the quick
source of information for busy readers.
complex story and arranging them in a limited space on the
page entails the creative skills of the copy editor.

Objective of the Newspaper Headlines

1. To attract the readers
2. To tell the readers what the news is all about
3. To persuade the readers to read as many individual
stories as possible
4. To add variety and attractiveness to the page
5. to create distinction or personality of the newspaper

Qualities of a Good Headline

1. It attracts the readers eye and directs its attention to
the story beneath it.
2. It is concisely constructed to save space. Articles
and other unnecessary words are omitted.
3. It must be positive and active. Active verb in the
present or future tense is used because aside from
being a short word, it is also the tense of immediacy
and it is more vivid.
4. It is adjusted to a predetermined typographical style of

Steps in Headline Writing

1. Read the whole story to understand its message.
2. Underline key words as its lead, for headline writing.
3. Using the key words from the lead, write a short
telegraphic sentence summary of the news.
4. Use the shortest word possible. Substitute simple
effective synonyms to fit the headline within the allotted
5. Divide it according to unit of thoughts into the number of
required lines or decks.
6. Use colorful noun and vigorous and active verb.
7. Start with noun followed by a verb.

Kinds of Headline
1. Flush left two more lines of headline are aligned at the left
edge of the column
Malacanang considers
Abat adventure over
2. Flush right two or more lines of headline are aligned at
the right edge of the column
Malacanang considers
Abat adventure over

3. Dropline two or three lines of headline, usually of the

same length and arranged diagonally
Dole Philippines donates
arm chairs to Sarangani

Hanging indention usually three or more lines of

headline, the first line set flush to both margins
and the succeeding lines are indented or
beginning several spaces in from the left
margin, thus hanging as if from the first
Military ready to step in
if anti-govt protest
turn violent

5. Crossline or barline a single line of headline, running

over two or more columns
Grenade blast kills 2 kids
6. Inverted pyramid two or three lines of headline with the
first line flushed to both margin and
succeeding lines getting shorter and
Deped sets new guidelines
for teacher-applicants

7. Flushline or full line consist of two or more lines of the

same length
Garci names solons
who also called him
8. Streamer striking boldface head extending across the top
of the page
9. Umbrella a streamer that is placed at the very top of the
page above the nameplate of the newspaper.
10. Binder a streamer at the top of an inside page
11. Boxed head the headline is boxed either for
prominence or to avoid tombstoning

a. full box

ICT to generate 1M jobs

b. half box

ICT to generate 1M jobs

c. quarter box ICT to generate 1M jobs

12. Jump head (run-over head) headline of a news story,
which is cut and continued on the inside page; it
is followed by the words from page _ or the like
13. Subhead a short title of a portion of news story to break
the monotony of gray text; set in boldface and
occupies more than half the column width

14. Tagline, kicker or teaser a short single line placed

above the main head, may be of smaller type,
underlined and set flush left or centered
15. Hammer if the tagline or kicker is bigger than the

Guidelines for Writing Headlines

1. The head should tell the gist of the story simply and
2. It should contain a verb, but not start with one.
3. Be in the active voice.
4. Be in the present, historical present or the future tense.
5. Avoid the use of articles to begin headline.
6. Use no abbreviation except those generally known ones.

7. The first line of two-line or three line headline should not

end with a preposition, conjunction, articles or any form of
the verb to be, unless the preposition goes with the verb,
as in the word call up.
8. Be specific. Avoid generalities.
Wrong: Student wins contest
Right: Metrian scribe wins natl essay writing tilt
9. Avoid label head.
Wrong: Auctioned
Right: Imelda jewelry auctioned
10. Do not editorialize your headline.
Wrong: Metrian shows great performance in DSPC
Right: Metrian wins 6 out of 7 in DSPC writing contest

11. Do not use the same word twice in the headline or kicker.

Gun haul
GenSan cops seize 24 guns
from suspected bandits
12. Never use the word may. It denotes the uncertain element
of the story.
13. To use direct quotation as head, use any of the following
forms instead of the traditional quotation marks:
a. Using the dash instead of the quotation mark.
Example: Truth commission repugnant - Mirriam
b. Using the colon
Example: Sto. Tomas: Brain drain just a prescription
c. Using narrative form
Example: Garci is back, says wife

14. Do not be in the negative.

Wrong: Metrian festival wont be held
Right: Metrian festival cancelled
15. The first letter of the word and proper nouns are generally
16. Avoid awkward verbal breaks.
Wrong: Gensan SPED bebaters
join natl tilt in Manila
Right: Gensan SPED debaters
join Natl tilt in Manila
17. Mention only the name of person, who is prominent.
Wrong: Jacoba wins Microsoft global award
Right: Filipino wins Microsoft global award

18. Use M for million and B for billion.

Example: Philhealth lost P520M to fraudulent claim,
says chief
19. Use comma instead of and.
Example: GMA, Bush skip rape issue in Busan meet
20. Separate double headline by a semicolon.
Example: Bomb explodes at GenSan Market; 13
killed, 53 hurt
21. Do not end the headline with a period.
22. Use the infinitive for future events.
Example: GMA to visit Saudi on way to NY
23. Avoid splitting compound word
Wrong: GMA to award taxi
driver for honesty

Right: GMA to award taxi driver for honesty

24. Avoid splitting words that naturally go together
Wrong: Metrian celebrate Buwan
ng Wika with beauty tilt
Right: Metrians hold Buwan ng Wika
with beauty contest
25. Do not mix up typefaces in making headlines to avoid
clutter. Do not use four to eight kinds of fonts of headlines
on a page. The maximum font type that can you can use
on a page is two unrelated fonts except for features

Guidelines in Determining Headline Size

The size of the headline usually gives the idea of how
significant a story is. Here is a list of short guidelines in
determining headline size:
1. A short four-inch story needs only one column. A one
column headline needs one or three decks of word
depending on text length. Try using two decks, 24 points.

Stories of four to six inches may run in one or two

columns. Get headline types of 24 to 30 points in a single
or double decks of words.

3. Stories from six to 12 inches deep will take a multicolumn

headline of 36 points or bigger typeface depending on the
width of the headline of the headline typeface.

Rules in Acronym
Acronym is derived from the combination of the first
letters or syllables of the words or name of an organization.
Here are the rules to follow.
1. For four-letter acronym and below, all letters should be
capitalized like in WHO for World Health Organization, UN
for United Nations, MILF for Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
2. For more than four-letter acronym, only its first letter is
capitalized like in Asean for Association of Southeast
Asian Nations and Unicef for United Nations International
Childrens Emergency Fund.

3. For syllabic acronym, the first letter of each syllable of the

words should be capitalized like in DepEd for the
Department of Education, GenSan for General Santos
City and SoCSKSarGen for South Cotabato-Sultan
Kudarat-Sarangani-General Santos.

Mechanics for Headline Writing

The next job of the copy editor after developing the
headline is to see to it that it fits on the allotted space on the
page. He now gives the necessary technical instruction to the
layout man on what font type and size to be used and how it
should be presented on the page.

Number 2 means the head will run across two

columns of the page. Number 20 stands for the font size to
be used. TNRB refers to the font type Times New Roman
Bold and KICKER means a preliminary head. The line below
refers to the number of line or deck the headline will have.
The final headline will look like this:
Gawad Pangulo sa Kapaligiran

GenSan braces for top slot

Unit Count in Headline
All small letters (except j,l,I,f,t,m and w)
Small letters j,l,I,f,t,m
Small letters m and w
All capital letter (except j,l,I,f,t,m and w)
Capital letter I
Capital letters M and W

=1 unit
=1/2 unit
=1 unit
=1 unit
=1/2 unit
= 2 unit

All punctuation marks (except the dash, question mark,

dollar, peso, and per cent sign)
=1/2 unit
Dash, question mark, dollar, peso and percent sign =1 unit
All number figures from 0 to 9 (except 1)
= 1 unit
Number 1
= unit
All spaces
=1 unit
1 1/21 1 1 1 11 11 1 1 11 1 111 1 1

Grenade blast kills 2 kids = 23

Qualities of an Effective Headline Writer

1. He has an accurate perception of the story. The
headline writer must be able to see the story clearly and
strip it down to its essentials.
2. He has must have a vocabulary that is both broad and
deep. He must possess not only a vocabulary of many
words but a precise knowledge of word meanings, keen
sense of their connotations. A thorough knowledge of
colloquial terms and even slang if necessary.
3. He has a sharp sense of sentence structure. Sentences
take many structures. The headline writer should have a
keen sense not only with his choice of words but also in
the choice of structures.

4. He has a keen eye for ambiguity. He must always

remember his readers in composing headline. What is
unclear to him will also be unclear to his readers.

Headline Vocabulary
1. Accord agreement
2. Allay calm
3. Allot apportion, set aside
4. Anew again
5. Assail attack
6. Ax dismiss
7. Bare reveal, expose
8. Bat defend
9. Bid request
10. Blast - criticized

11. Cite enumerate, mention

12. Confab conference
13. Cop police
14. Cow - frighten
15. Crown win
16. Curb control,stop
17. Cut decrease
18. Dip decrease, decline
19. Draw fire to be criticized
20. Dry run - rehearsal

21. Due deadline, scheduled

22. Ex former
23. To eye consider
24. feud quarrel, dispute
25. foil thwart, reject
26.Gab conference
27.Gird brace, prepare
28. go try
29. grill question, interrogate
30. hail welcome
31. hike increase
32. Hit attack
33. Inquiry investigation
34. ink to sign a contract
35. junk to throw way, decline
36. kin family
37. kit - package

38. letup temporary easing up

39. link connect
40. lull calm
41. meet conference, to convene
42. megman movie director
43. memo memorandum
44. mull plan, to think of
45. mum silent
46. Nab arrest
47. nix reject
48.Okay approve accept
49. peg to fix at a certain amount
or level
50. pit oppose
51. post position, to assign
52. power electricity
53. probe to investigate

54. prod prick

55. quit resign
56. quiz question
57. ratify approve
58. raze destroy
59. revamp to change, reshuffle
60. rift disagreement
61. row dispute, disagreement
62. rule decide, decision
63. sans without
64. scan examine
65. scribe newspaperman
66. shakeup reshuffle
67. skip avoid
68. slay kill, assasinate
69. solon lawmaker
70. try - attempt