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For managing editor of The Dissolve, the job means juggling tasks

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Genevieve Koski, managing editor at thedissolve.com (Photo courtesy of Genevieve Koski)

By Hanna Barnett
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Genevieve Koski has always been a “type A” personality, so working as managing editor of The Dissolve , a Chicago-based website covering film, seems only slightly hectic.

“I’m kind of always doing a million things at once,” she said in a phone interview. “There’s kind of a constant stream of things that I can pluck from to work on at any given moment.”

The Detroit native started out as the classic “indoor kid,” which led her to read quite a bit in her free time. This sparked a love of writing in her, which continued through high school. From working on the school paper to the radio station and various other media outlets offered by her school, she “caught the bug early.”

After high school she went to Loyola University, which didn’t have a journalism program. So she “kind of had to cobble… together [her] version of a journalism degree by double majoring in English and communications.”

With her Loyola degree and a master’s in journalism from Syracuse University, she was immediately offered a job at The Onion’s “The A. V. Club,” where she stayed for six years. there, she climbed the ranks from assistant editor to associate editor, all the while almost accidentally accumulating skills that would eventually help her in her current job.

There, she climbed the ranks from assistant editor to associate editor, all the while almost accidentally accumulating skills that would eventually help her in her current job.

“Copy editing is crucial but not especially stimulating over the long-term,” she said. “It’s something that, as I got better at it, I could do fairly quickly and efficiently. It became more finding other ways to fill my time. Part of that was writing, but also I’ve always been good and fairly skilled at organization, communication, all that stuff, and that translated to doing a lot more behind the scenes.”

One specific thing she brought to The Dissolve from her time at the A. V. Club is her talent for arranging.

“When I came to The Dissolve I was in a position to help organize things in a way I thought they would work best.”

Another skill she has gained in the past few years is podcasting. It isn’t something she expected to be doing when she was in Journalism 101. But journalism is different these days, and it’s something she learned on the job.

“Media is very different now,” Koski said. “And if I had known at that time what working online would mean —having to just constantly be churning stuff out, having commenting and people on Twitter interfacing with you all the time. And you’re not just sending things out into the void like in the old days — I think I still would have ended up doing what I’m doing now. But I would have been prepared for it in a way that I wasn’t.”

After two years of learning new skills on the job, she now does quite a few things that aren’t thought of traditionally as the copy editor’s job. But because the staff of The Dissolve is small with only six people, many of those tasks fall to her. She reads everything before it goes on the site, does the final edit, posts, and handles the site’s social media outlets too.

She also occasionally has an opportunity to write. And she enjoys the planning aspects of her job.

“I get a lot of satisfaction out of looking at our editorial calendar and seeing that the next two weeks are all planned out.”


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