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May we all be ‘ready to edit’

By Darcy L. Fargo

Darcy Fargo

February 26, 2020

When I worked in the secular newspaper industry, I always used to say, “someday I’ll write a sitcom about a small-town newsroom, and it’ll be called ‘Ready to Edit.’”

“Ready to edit” was a designation in the writing software commonly used in newsrooms in the early 2000s. When a reporter started drafting a story, the story’s status in the system would be “original.” Once the reporter felt the story was complete, he or she would change the story’s status to “ready to edit,” and the editor(s) on the news desk that night would see a flashing alert indicating a story had been filed.

In terms of filing stories, the “ready to edit” designation meant a reporter thought the story was good, but the reporter was ready for someone else to make it even better by fixing any grammatical or spelling mistakes, asking for clarifications where an idea wasn’t fully developed/explained, writing a stronger lead (the first sentence/paragraph of the article)…

For my sitcom idea, I thought the title applied well to the small-town newsrooms I experienced in both Malone and Punxsutawney.

When I worked in the field (and this may still be true today), the secular newspaper industry tended to employ what I’d call “interesting” people. These were people who stayed up all hours of the night, drank way too much coffee, smoked way too many cigarettes, joked with gallows humor and prided themselves on getting under the skin of public officials. These were also very intelligent people. Small-town reporters need to develop at least a basic understanding of a wide variety of topics, including municipal processes, educational standards, agricultural practices, criminal law and court systems, budgets…, so the reporter can explain the topics intelligently in their reporting.

These newsrooms employed outstanding (and fun) people, but these people, me included, also had areas where they could be improved.

I was thinking about “ready to edit” as I prepared for Lent. While I’m trying to live out my faith and follow the Lord, I recognize that there are things I do very well, but there are also lots of areas in which I could improve.

I recognize I need God’s grace, and I need to cooperate with that grace to overcome my sinfulness, my attachment to my will and my pride.

I pray we all approach this Lenten season open to God’s grace and willing to cooperate with it. I pray we’re all “ready to edit.”

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