Grammatical mistakes make otherwise outstanding news articles difficult for readers to understand and can even undermine the writer’s credibility. To help reporters and editors brush up on their grammar skills, the Press Club of Long Island hosted “Grammar Recharge for Journalists” on January 19 with panelists John McIntyre and Pam Robinson, both experienced journalists and copy editors.
Cecilia Dowd, the vice president of the Press Club of Long Island, moderated the discussion.
John McIntyre was an editor at newspapers for 40 years, 34 of them at The Baltimore Sun, where he headed the copy desk. Since retiring in 2021 he has been working as a freelance copy editor for the online Baltimore Banner. He taught editing at Loyola University Maryland for 25 years. He maintains a blog, “You Don’t Say,” and has published two short but trenchant books, “The Old Editor Says: Maxims for Writing and Editing,” and “Bad Advice: The Most Unreliable Counsel Available on Grammar, Usage, and Writing.”
Pam Robinson has been working in newspapers since she got her start as a high school student in the sports department of her hometown paper in Lorain, Ohio. She has worked as a reporter and editor at newspapers in Connecticut and New York, including Newsday. She was a co-founder and the first president of the American Copy Editors Society and currently is editor of the digital news site HuntingtonNow.com where she won an award for coverage of hunger on Long Island.