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Copy Editing to Become 5th Journalism Contest in 2018-19

By Lauren Kelley, UIL Intern | Wednesday, November 01, 2017 3:30 PM

Beginning in the 2018-2019 school year, UIL Journalism will have five contests instead of four if approved by the Commissioner of Education. The copy editing pilot was approved as a sanctioned event at the Legislative Council meeting this month.

Jeanne Acton, journalism director, said a summer journalism advisory committee suggested the contest several years ago. Copy editing became a pilot in 2014.

“The contest helps students understand the value of editing and the need for clear, concise communication,” Acton said. “Copy editing skills transcend any job or field, regardless of how jobs may change in the future.”

Acton says the contest has three sections.

“In Part I, students choose the correct word to complete the sentence,” she said. “In part II, students edit five sentences. For Part III, students edit a passage. Part III is used only to break ties, but because Part I and II are pretty subjective, we expect quite a few ties.”

The copy editing contest is 15 minutes and is the shortest of the five journalism contests.

“Students who I talked with about the pilot said they really liked how quick the contest is,” she said. “It’s quite an intense contest.”

To accommodate this contest in the conflict pattern, the headline contest will be reduced from 45 minutes to 30 minutes.

“We will still have six stories in the contest — so students will need to work a little faster,” Acton said. “Forty-five minutes was too long for that contest. Consistently at the State Meet, we have students complete the contest in 20-25 minutes, and the state contest is the hardest level of competition. I can only imagine how quickly students were finishing at district.”

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