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Omaha World-Herald online sports editor says trust is key

Graham Archer, Omaha World-Herald

Graham Archer, Omaha World-Herald online sports editor

By Tanner Westerholt
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

In college, Graham Archer didn’t plan to become an online sports editor. He was enrolled in a creative writing course when his teacher suggested he take a journalism course at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Graham eventually earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from UNL.

That switch to a journalism course eventually led him to the  Omaha World-Herald, where he worked part time for two years. He eventually became full time, and in 2009 he assumed the role of online sports editor.

Being the online sports editor has been the perfect job for Archer because of his love of sports.

“To be a successful sports editor you have to know the basic knowledge of every sport because you can’t predict what sport news will be tomorrow’s headline,” Archer said in a telephone interview.

He spends long nights at the office, usually leaving at 2 a.m.  He has to make sure every online story is up-to-date. Understanding technology is a plus for any online editor, he said, explaining “Twitter and Facebook are always the best ways to reach our followers and, I have to make sure they are updated every hour with breaking news.”

Archer also checks stories and fixes any errors he may find. And he has to ensure that all of the elements of an online page operate successfully including recruiting maps, surveys and shot charts.

Trust, he said, is the most important trait of an editor . “You have to trust your reporters to get the correct information, ” he said. “You also have to have faith that your reporters and writers have their completed story ready and turned it in on time before the deadline. It is very easy to trust your coworkers, but you have to have a keen eye and spot any mistakes in the information to provide your readers with the most accurate news.”

Archer must decide which news is the most important to post on the home page of the online sports section. Recently, those stories have been about Nebraska football because of high interest from readers.

Archer said his job is enjoyable because of the people he works with at the Omaha World-Herald.  He also loves hearing from readers.

His advice for students who want to follow in his footsteps:  “Become news hounds and find the news. Don’t let the news come to you. Read and edit, the more the better and become a mastermind at multitasking. But the most important is you must stay open to others’ opinions — don’t lose hope in your work and work hard.”

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