Vincent Safuto’s Weblog

Notes and observations

First copy desk dream of my latest unemployment era

Birds have to fly. Fish have to swim. And copy editors have to edit.

That’s the natural order of things.

That’s why, on Monday morning at 2 a.m., I awoke from a dream in which I was trying to edit a feature-y news story about airborne funerals. Maybe the funeral was for my own career in journalism, which ended again with me being laid off from my job, but the story had every glitch that was common to stories from journalism students that we’d get at the Gainesville Sun.

It was wordy, it had lots of aviation inaccuracies and it put words and thoughts into the mouths of people who didn’t say them or think them – at least out loud.

And it was my job to fix the story and make it work. But nothing seemed to be coming together.

That’s a common dream among journalists. You’re at work, and nothing seems to be going right – and deadline is breathing down your neck but you can’t seem to make the changes stick.

In the final season of “The Wire,” an editor at The Baltimore Sun at one point calls the newsroom after he has a dream that he allowed an inaccuracy to get into the paper, and calls the copy desk in a panic from bed to confirm that he input the correct information. Everyone who’s ever worked at a newspaper has made that call at one time or another.

Maybe I’m crazy for wanting to stay in journalism, but it’s in my blood. If there’s a bad story out there, I want to make it good. If there’s a good story out there, I want to make it better. If there’s a story out there that needs to be written, by golly I want to write it.

Probably, I should look elsewhere for work, but I believe that I have at least 15 good years of journalism – perhaps more – left in these fingers and this brain.

If I’m going to keep having dreams about being in the newsroom, can you blame me if I want to be there again for real?


February 27, 2012 - Posted by | Life lessons, Living in the modern age, The jobless chronicles, The news business | , , , , , ,

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