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Newspaper copy boys

Started by Arglybargly, June 15, 2014, 06:30:55 PM

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Arglybargly

  I began my journalism career at The Miami Herald in 1956 when I was hired as a copy boy.  There were 12 of us who fetched galley proofs from the composing room to distribute to the appropriate editors and picked up photo "cuts" from the engraving department.  We knew the compositors and their machines intimately.  In 1956, BTW, all Linotypes had been converted to six-level Teletype punched tape produced by a squad of mainly women who knew little or nothing about typography.  We also moved news copy to the composing room, dug out photos and clippings from the "morgue" at the behest of reporters and editors.   At The Herald today, there are no copy boys -- everything is digital/electronic.  But more importantly, there is no composing room.  Progress is progress, I suppose, but how are young lads like me going to break into the industry when there are no low-skill entry jobs?  Winds up that I'm now 76 years old and have been retired for 15 years after a lifetime in journalism as a copy boy, reporter and finally as a journalism professor.  It was a great life, but now it seems to have vanished. 
--George Flynn, Georgetown, Texas


Dave Hughes

Thanks for making your first post George.

I guess your career spanned a "golden age" of journalism.

The digital revolution has wreaked havoc in the industry, with many print journalism jobs in danger, and nobody really sure who will continue to write our news, or what business model will be sustainable in the future.
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