Monday, 24 September 2007

T.O. Sun style lax

We did a double take after reading the second paragraph of a story on Page 3 of the Saturday Sun.

It begins with: "1-month-old Abbygail Elizabeth Dice . . ."

How did that abandonment of newspaper style get past the editors and into the Sun?

Or has the Toronto Sun thrown in the towel when it comes to traditional newspaper style?

Readers finicky about newspaper style - let's say just about every journalist and editor in the GTA - must have winced over that lapse.

Sloppy writing - and editing.

We have also winced a few times recently in reading Toronto Sun stories with 40 to 45 words in the leads.

Once upon a time, the edict from just about every Sun city editor was no leads with more than 20 words. And Les Pyette, Bob Vezina, Bob Burt among others, enforced the edict.

It made sense. Tight, bright tabloid stories with tight, bright tabloid leads.

We sympathize with green reporters working in today's bare bones Sun Media newsrooms. They are destined to repeat their mistakes without mentors and advice from editors.

The Toronto Sun hasn't had a rewrite desk since 1994 - and it often shows. Using "1-month-old" anywhere in a story instead of "one-month-old" and chunky, 40-word leads are signs editors at this major Toronto daily are too busy to care about style.

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