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Editing an outdoor magazine means spending time indoors

By Gene Curl
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

editor2Contrary to popular belief, working for an outdoor publication does not mean that you get to spend all of your time outside hunting, fishing, camping or boating.

In fact, being the editor at NEBRASKAland magazine does not even get you an office with a window, Doug Carroll, the current editor, is quick to point out.

Carroll was born in Wiesbaden, Germany, while his father was stationed there in the Air Force. But Carroll spent most of his life in Nebraska. He is an alumnus of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he studied journalism and wildlife management. While studying at UNL, Carroll also was active in the wildlife club. After college, Carroll went to work for the Norfolk Daily, in Norfolk, Neb.

After a year and a half, Carroll moved to Hastings, Neb., where he worked for the Tribune as a photojournalist and was occasionally given the opportunity to write an  outdoor column.

Growing up in Nebraska, Carroll always liked the NEBRASKAland magazine and dreamed of working for it or another publication like it. He never thought that he would have the opportunity because jobs like that have a low turnover.When an opening occurred, he applied.

Carroll has been with the magazine since 2001, when he was hired as the associate editor. In 2005, he was named editor.

The job isn’t exactly what he imagined it would be. Initially, Carroll thought being the editor would give him more time to work on his own stories and photography, but he quickly realized  he had a lot less time to spend on his own work because he spent more time editing others and attending meetings.

Time management is the hardest part of being an editor of an outdoor publication, he said.

The most rewarding part of his job is being able to stay active in hunting and fishing. Having the opportunity to inform people about  outdoor opportunities in Nebraska is another of the rewarding aspects of his  job, Carroll said. He thinks it is important for people to  know that there is more to Nebraska than  cornfields and an interstate.

Carroll’s advice for aspiring journalists is to be well-rounded.

“I don’t care if you are working for an outdoor publication like ours or a medical journal, or a regular newspaper, or whatever it is,” Carroll said. “It’s imperative to know quite a bit about what you’r3 getting into or you’re going to look foolish sooner or later [by] not understanding the subject matter. You can be a great editor, but if you are not sure what the subject matter is about or what is supposed to be said you can make some bad mistakes.”

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