Momaha editor: advising moms on all that is parent-related
By Emily Eckel
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
“Always be open to any opportunity. Everything you do will become a part of who you become,” said Momaha editor Josie Loza. “I started writing in the obituaries and now I am the Momaha editor.”
Who better to write and manage a Momaha blog than a full-time mom herself? Josie Loza,
mom of two, is the editor of the Omaha World-Herald’s Momaha.com. It is a website that provides parenting news and advice on health, fitness, food and style for moms and their kids. The website features several blogs from different writers.
Loza, a former nightlife columnist at OWH, is in charge of Momaha and all the editing duties that come with it. During an interview in her office at the Omaha World-Herald in downtown Omaha, Loza shared insight on her job and offered advice to aspiring editors.
Q: What is a typical work day for you?
A: I begin my day at 6:30 a.m. by checking out all the news websites and updating Momaha.com with any breaking news. I also sort out stories into different sections of the website. I then get my kids up and ready for the day and drop them off at school. From 9:15- 10:30 a.m., I schedule and complete telephone and video interviews with moms and celebrities. At 10:30 a.m., I check the news again and make updates to the Momaha.com website. After that, I
communicate with the blog staff about their work and answer any questions they have. From 12-3 p.m., I edit pieces from the blog staff and get the stories ready for posting. In addition to editing, I copy text from the social wire sites and curate image and video content from other sites that are applicable for our blog. Then it is usually time to bring my kids home from school and cook dinner and complete that night’s activities. After my kids are in bed, I spend another two hours checking for current news and updating the site.
Q: What are the main attributes of your job?
A: I am on the social side of online editing so that includes Web writing, promoting, marketing, taking and uploading photos and videos, coding webpages and managing hyperlinks. I am always updating the Omaha.com social media sites. I update the main dominant page of Momaha.com two to three times a day and and update the blogs four times a day. I also focus on the comments that readers leave on the blogs and check page views. I am not a traditional editor; I have my hands in several different pots with video, copy and graphics. I am always cooking something up.
Q: What are your favorite parts about your job?
A: I love the flexibility that comes along with my job; it allows me to work wherever I am; I switch off between home, the office and events. It’s nice to know I am creating my own theme using news judgments.
Q: What are some difficulties you have faced with your job?
A: I am the face of a beat; what’s happening in parenting news. I need to be very open with my readers and make myself vulnerable. This took some getting used to at first, but then I developed thicker skin. For example, I have written stories where I shared with my readers that I gained 65 pounds while being pregnant. I also wrote a story that shared what I did to lose the 65 pounds.
Q: What have you done previously that helped prepare you for this job?
A: I first started writing for the Omaha World-Herald in the obituaries. Then, I was the nightlife columnist for several years. As the nightlife columnist, I learned to work quickly reporting from event-to-event, always posting stories. I covered various types of events including concerts, art showcases and fashion shows. It taught me time management and how to decipher which stories and events are more important than others to maximize my time. I also gained a lot of experience with interviewing; who to interview, how to interview and when to get the interviews. I often had to interview celebrities who would come into town for events. I have always been a workaholic so I enjoyed being the nightlife columnist and I knew I would enjoy being the Momaha editor.
Q: Who else works for Momaha?
A: There is a team of 10 writers; most of them are working moms. Each of the writers have their own niche — fashion, fitness, etc., and designated days to write. I am in charge of editing and publishing their work. We communicate through online chats that we meet in daily.
Q: What is some advice you would give to a college journalism student?
A: The biggest lesson I can tell any college student is to dabble in everything; learn every essence of communications — coding, graphic design. Everything is important. Take every class you can, including the ones you don’t like or think you won’t need in your future. The more time you put in learning extra things or doing extra work, the more payoff you will have in the end. I went into my first job to become a great writer, but now I am a great editor. I thought I wanted to write the rest of my life so, as a college student at UNO, I began my first job at the OWH as a writer for the obituaries. Now I am the Momaha editor. Everything has a way of working out and usually not how you think it will. My advice is to trust your intuition and make mistakes and learn from them. Make sure you are passionate about what you’re doing. I have a job that I love waking up to every day and I couldn’t do a job I hated. Always follow your passion.