Friday, February 6, 2009

The Power of the Editor

What I enjoyed most about Shattered Glass was the relationship and story between the staff and the two editors, Michael and Chuck. It appeared on the surface that Michael was the editor of your dreams. As Stephen Glass said it, "he always had your back," which made him a better editor than Chuck. I feel like Chuck was actually the better editor, he had the writers best interests at heart, as much as you can for an editor who found out that 27 out of 41 of a writers stories were fabricated, and he also knew what was best for the paper. I feel like Michael let Stephens charm get the best of him, as did alot of other members of the staff. He failed to do thorough fact checks, relied to much on the trust of the writers, and was ultimately deceived. Although Chuck did not come across as valiant a defender as Michael, he fulfilled his role as editor walking that fine line between the writers and management. If I were put in the same situation as Chuck, being lied to and deceived, I would make the same decision as he did. He wagered the situation with Stephen and the reputation of The New Republic and made a well rounded decision. It is not my belief that an editor is someone who will defend your name and story given all circumstance. I believe that a good editor is one who questions to get the facts straight so when controversy comes he can defend your story and best interest.

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree with Katie about what an editor should be. Editors aren't there to watch your back, be your best bud and let you do what you want. Editors are there to make sure quality work is produced. It is absurd that Glass thought his editor's job was to protect him. Obviously he did not learn the function of an editor in journalism school. I too was upset that the first editor was so schmoozed by Glass. There is no room for schmoozing in the editing room, things get too messy. Glass had his co-workders wrapped tightly around his finger so he could do as he pleased, which was obviously wrong. But I also think the co-workers have to take some blame. They let themselves get schmoozed, and were in denial about it. News is about facts and truth and accuracy, and they chose to assume everything Glass did fell under this process. I say hoorah for Chuck though, he wasn't schmoozed one bit, but he wasn't unhuman about it either. He just did what he had to do, even in the midst of everyone being mad at him for punishing Glass. That is what a real newspaper person is made of.