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The lost art of editing

By the time you read this article, it will have already gone through the editing process, and it might have even been transformed into something else from what I had in mind. Hopefully not.

The point is that editing has a self-evident importance in all kinds of media, as it affects the content and elements of presentation like tone, pacing and the point of view.

However, if editing is so important, why has it become a lost art?

Many online articles today contain spelling errors and all sorts of small discrepancies that can be seen as reasonably acceptable.

This might’ve been a lengthy condemnation of cases of plagiarism making its way through respected publications and news outlets. In fact, a more pressing issue — since those aforementioned issues are relatively rare — is how editing has been too present in print media like magazines, newspapers and even comic books.

The oversaturation of unsatisfactory editing is a problem that stunts creativity, as having an editor who fails to give an outside perspective alongside criticism leaves a writer with no direction to make any progress.

All too often in print media, an editor throws a wrench into any writer’s plan in crafting their work when they impose restrictions, so a balance must be established. 

Overall, many online articles lack the creativity which would merit going past the paywalls and logins they require. 

Conversely, in the world of film, movies require much more editing work in order to avoid droll stories that constantly switch between uninteresting shots and instead not be afraid to linger on a shot and actually create visual interest. 

Movies like “Suicide Squad” became disasters due to the editors hastily trying to meet the conflicting demands of the director and studio executives, leading to an incoherent mess. More focus on editing in film has to be placed as the editors are the ones cutting scenes and rearranging the story itself. 

Awkward cuts between characters speaking can create comedic moments, intentionally or not, which shows the power of such a position, casting a scene in two different lights.

Having more editors could be potentially more beneficial for the film industry rather than multiple writers since they are not micromanaging each and every creative decision. Instead, they help in creating the context the scene takes place in. 

Editors can also influence the length of the movie into being a much faster pace that turns a slog of a movie into a brisk and exhilarating adventure.

It is of great importance in media to consider the value of editing and how the use of it can affect the creative process that unfolds.

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