Journal: News & Comment

Wednesday, April 19, 2006
# 11:43:00 PM:

Converting for the reader, and editing for the Olympics

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Sam Corea of VANOCToday I attended two fascinating presentations through the Editors' Association of Canada, B.C. Branch (EAC-BC), to which I belong and for whom I often give talks and seminars and help out with their website.

The first was professional development for my work, in the form of a workshop by Dr. Diana Wegner from Douglas College. While ostensibly about writing and editing reports (from research papers to feasibility studies), it went much further than that.

Most critically, Dr. Wegner specified a real definition of written coherence—that is, creating coherence means:

  1. Reducing mental effort for those reading a document.
  2. Making it efficient for them to find and understand the information inside.

She also identified the single most critical step in the production of a report or other document: converting it from being writer-focused (usually structured as a first-draft chronology of ideas and research the writers undertook) to reader-focused (structured into topics that make sense to the eventual audience).

Both ideas, although encompassing things that I've been doing subconsciously as an editor for years, put into clear focus why I do them, and helped me understand how to do them better.

The second event was a talk by Sam Corea, the key communications person for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Committee, who talked candidly to the EAC-BC monthly meeting about the complex processes required to create, edit, and distribute the multifarious documents that organization will have to produce (from slick guidebooks to anti-doping medical forms), electronically, online, and in print, during the next four years. He also revealed that there will probably be a lot of work for writers and editors for the Winter Olympics here, starting soon.

And the discussion got me to thinking: it's time for some of us to start gunning for the roles of Official 2010 Winter Olympic Podcasters. You know it'll happen.

Oh, and is looking for podcasting and iPod experts. I might go for it, if I had the time. But I don't.


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