The daily life of an editor
Growing up I always wondered what it was like to be an editor of a newspaper.
I used to sling papers for my local newspaper, the Warwick Beacon, and I always wondered how the paper was put together.
After graduation, I entered the world of journalism, something that I never expected and without any formal training, I was thrown into the fire as an editor 2,000 miles away from home.
Knowing that many people probably not much of an idea of what the role of the editor is, I thought I would share our general outlook when it comes to the newsroom.
For our paper, our week basically begins on Wednesdays, when the paper is being printed for the Thursday edition, and we have a blank canvas of what the next paper will look like.
Going into our editorial meeting on Wednesday afternoon, I have a list of stories that we will be working on for the upcoming paper. During our meetings, we also go over ideas for future stories and talk about our upcoming special projects that we are working on.
A lot of times people ask me “how do you come up with story ideas.” The reality is we get these ideas from a number of different sources, including press releases, people stopping by the office, phone calls, social media, email and simply spotting news.
While we are extremely diligent when it comes to finding stories, the truth is some stories we will never know about unless our readers and community members let us know about them.
I think a perfect example of this came about a month ago when I was contacted about a K-M Senior, Lauren Alexander, and her journey from being adopted from Russia. For me that was one of the most interesting stories I have done in a long time, but if it wasn’t for her parents contacting me, I would have never known about it.
I encourage our readers to send us story ideas, whether it’s a big story or a small one. Our editorial staff is trained to tell any story and we love doing so. Next time you think to yourself “that could be a cool story,” don’t hesitate, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get right on it.
Throughout the day on Wednesday and the rest of the week, our editorial staff is busy interviewing, taking photos, covering a variety of different events, along with continuing to find story ideas. Along with that, I am coming up with different photos and videos to post onto our Facebook page, so that way people can find out what's going on in their community instantly. On Wednesdays, our high school intern is working hard putting stories on our website along with other tasks. One of the additional tasks that I gave her since taking over as editor is having her schedule stories to go on Facebook throughout the week.
While all this is going on, I am also working on editing stories and columns that come in. I also work on editing obituaries, calendars, and other pieces of news that comes in like press releases.
Over the weekend, our weeks generally continue, whether it’s covering local events, working on stories, or tracking breaking news, every weekend we most likely are doing something.
On Mondays, my day basically consists of wrapping up stories for the Thursday paper, finishing deciding where stories will be placed throughout the paper, and making the important decision of what will be on the front page.
When Tuesday comes around, I am ready to go by 8 a.m. answering any questions our design team may have about the paper and sometimes even making critical decisions about what can be held for next week and what needs to run this week, when there is not enough space for all of our important stories and photos.
By the afternoon, I am looking over the pages that were designed and making any tweaks that need to be made.
The most important part of my week is being able to play a small role in the local community.
Being an editor for a small town community newspaper means that my role goes beyond just bylines, it means having my thumb on the pulse of the local towns we serve. It means talking to people while I am out in the community, listening to concerns that people may have about their communities or the paper and most importantly thinking of ways of how I can tell their important stories.
Being a community editor is an amazing job, and I am very grateful that I am able to help lead one of the best newspapers in the state that serves some of the best communities in the country!