Convener: Karen Testa, news editor, AP Boston
- David Offer, Kennebec (Maine) Journal
- Harry Whitin, Worcester (Mass) Telegram & Gazette
- Judy Kessler, Sybase
- Chelsea Conaboy, UNH
- Rochelle Stewart, UNH
Our discussion was wide in scope and involved some great advice from David and Harry, editing veterans who have seen some very good – and bad – editors in their time. The students also made rich contributions.
Here’s a few pearls of wisdom I took away from our talk:
- Make it clear you’re rejecting the story, not the person.
- Establish a climate of excellence, including setting standards and holding people accountable to those standards. Demand accuracy.
- Clear the crap, ie, try to free up key people from tasks that can be delegated so they can focus their energies where they are most needed.
- Set story expectations before writing begins.
- Understand that no one will write the story exactly the same way you would.
- If you’re not getting regular feedback, seek it out (for editors and reporters).
- Be excited and bring excitement to the newsroom. We have great jobs.
David made this observation that I thought was particular poignant, and a good message for all of us in the business:
“If you’re good enough to succeed at newspaper work or AP work, you’re probably good enough to make a lot more money doing something else for a lot less work. … So you’re doing it because it is the most wonderful way to live.”