HOME | THE BLOG | MY BOOKS | SHARP POINTS | THE BOOKSTORE | SEARCH | CONTACT

What Exactly Is a Copy Editor?
<< PREVIOUS << | >> NEXT >>


The copy desk of the
Indianapolis Star, circa 1942.

What's a slot man?   OTHER FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I
n the old days, when everybody was a "man" and copy editors still worked with pencils and paper, copy desks were often horseshoe-shaped. Rank-and-file editors -- "rim men" -- sat around the outside, while the guy in charge sat in the "slot" so he could reach all the rim guys when he needed to hand out stories to work on.

The term is still widely used today (though often it's just "slot"), and some copy desks are still set up in basically the same fashion, except with computers.

In the photo above, as the ancient textbook from which I stole it puts it, "The arrangement is somewhat unusual, because on only a few papers does anyone sit inside the horseshoe except the head of the desk. In this instance the state editor is seated inside at the foot on the left side and the telegraph editor inside at the foot on the right side. The slot man is in the center of the horseshoe across from the head of the desk and the news editor." (This caption appears to use "head of the desk" once as a term for a human and once as a geographical term.)


Move on to HOW TO BECOME A COPY EDITOR
Return to WHAT EXACTLY IS A COPY EDITOR?
Return to the main page of The Slot


Amazon.com: Open 24 Hours!