By John E. McIntyre
The Baltimore Sun
4:52 PM EDT, August 16, 2013
It is salutary to republish from time to time this passage from H.L. Mencken's Thirty-five Years of Newspaper Work. People forget.
During all my days of writing for the Sunpapers, I never made any objection to the cutting of my copy. It seemed to me then, and it seems to me now, that what goes into a newspaper ought to be determined by the editors thereof, and that they should not be burdened with contributors beyond their control. When, as occasionally happened, an error in an article of mine got into the paper, I refused to take responsibility for it. No man, I argued, could be expected to read his own copy; it was a psychological impossibility. Someone should be told off to go through it, and that someone should be responsible for undetected slips. Nine times out of ten the man who read my copy was Hamilton Owens, and whenever he encountered anything that upset him he would call me up ... and tell me the changes he proposed to make. I invariably invited him to do his damndest, and usually refused to listen to his reasons. He was the editor, not I.
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