Whatever kind of journalist you aspire to be – reporter, photojournalist, designer, multimedia producer, broadcaster or editor – you’ll need to develop editing skills to succeed.
Editors work for all kinds of organizations on many different platforms (print, broadcast, Web, mobile). The goal of editing is clarity, regardless of platform. Editors help readers navigate through information by distilling messages. Editors work for small and large newspapers, broadcast outlets, magazines, book publishers and newsletters. They hold communication jobs for corporate, academic and nonprofit organizations. Editing skills are valued in public relations and advertising. Regardless of where they work, editors increasingly are responsible for work published on the Web.
Since 2011, beginning editing students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln interviewed editors from a variety of places to ask them about their jobs, their advice for journalism students and their insight into how journalism is changing. Although the editors the students chose worked in many different jobs, many editors offered similar suggestions.
Their advice included: Read all different kinds of writing, master the basics of usage and grammar, get internships and college publication experience, learn the Web and new technologies, and be open-minded about the future.
Click on the links below to read their reports:
- Don Aguirre, copy writer, Swanson Russell, by Brook O’Neill
- Kaitlin Ahart, communications director at Marian High School, by Moira Delaney
- Susan Albertus, public relations specialist, Nebraska Department of Economic Development, by Sara Slater
- Graham Archer, online sports editor, Omaha World-Herald, by Tanner Westerholt
- Nathan Arneal, owner, North Bend Eagle, by Meridith Gross-Rhode
- Lindsay Augustyn, communications coordinator, Center for Science, Math and Computer Education, by Mady Traun
- George Ayoub, senior writer, Grand Island Independent, by Reece Ristau
- Lisa Bain, multiplatform editor, Star-Tribune in Minneapolis, by Jordyn Dixon
- Ann Baker, manager of editorial, design and production, University of Nebraska-Press, by Kelsey Baker
- Brett Baker, executive producer Nebraska News and Information Network, by Jessica Larkins
- Bruce Baker, city editor, McCook Daily Gazette, by Megan Conway
- Doug Barber, general manager and editor of Washington County Enterprise and Pilot-Tribune in Blair, Neb., by C.L. Sill
- Alan Bartels, field assistant editor, Nebraska Life magazine, by Nicole Rauner
- Kathryn Bass, copywriter at Karsh Hogan, by Cassandra Kernick
- Debbie Behne, graphic designer, Hain Publishing, by Shelby Wade
- Gerri Berendzen, editorial production coordinator, Quincy Herald-Whig, by Mason Shumaker
- Jessica Best, marketer at Emfluence:Digital Marketing by Emily Wicht
- Miles Blumhardt, editor of active life and sports, Coloradoan, by Jeremy Shipe
- David Brindley, deputy managing editor for copy and research at National Geographic magazine, by Jasmine Rogers
- Jim Brock, editor of the Nebraska City News-Press, by Madison Wurtele
- Karen Brokaw, owner, Brokaw Marketing, by Brennan Andrews
- Amy Brown, co-publisher and editor, Edible Omaha, by Miranda Milovich
- Mike Brownlee, assistant news editor, The Daily Nonpareil, by Sam Egan
- Linda Bryant, managing editor and publisher, Voice News, by Preston Thiemann
- Tracy Buffington, editor of the Fremont Tribune in Fremont, Neb., by Dustin Hunke
- Dave Bundy, editor, Lincoln Journal Star, by Tiler Thomas
- Dave Bundy, editor, Lincoln Journal-Star, by Yuliya Petrova
- Heather Burns, deputy editor at ESPN, by Natasha Rausch
- Patty Busse, Oakdale, Minn., Patch editor, by Frannie Sprouls
- Sean Callahan, editor, huskeronline.com, by Cameron Dudley
- Jesse Carey, contributing editor, Relevant Magazine, by Veronica Vanderbeek
- Cameron Carlow, sports copy editor, Omaha World-Herald, by Reid Kilmer
- Jim Carmichael, NET sports producer, by Dustin Hoffman
- Lorena Carmona, producer NBC Nebraska, by Jordyn Henry
- Zean Carney, former publisher newspaper publisher, by Kaylee Dump
- Doug Carroll, editor, NEBRASKAland magazine, by Gene Curl
- Scott Changnon, multimedia producer and editor, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, by David Cluchey
- Lee Ann Colacioppo, senior news editor, The Denver Post, by Whitney Carlson
- Bill Connolly, retired New York Times editor, by Asha Anchan
- Sue Copeland, contributing editor, Horse&Rider magazine, by Kelly Schnoor
- Stuart Courtney, online sports editor, Chicago Tribune, by Kyle Williams
- Chris Cubbison, USA Today trends editor, by Chelsea Stromer
- Bruce Crosby, editor of the McCook Daily Gazette, by Matt Palu
- Stephanie Croston, sports editor, Seward County Independent, by Jacob Imig
- Kwame Dawes, editor-in-chief, Prairie Schooner, by Jenna Jaynes
- Mary Dearen, managing editor of the Midland Reporter-Telegram, by Emily Deck
- John DiBiase, editor of Jesus Freak Hideout, by Francesca Torquati
- Darnell Dickson, sports editor, Lincoln Journal Star, by Ross Benes
- Lisa Gregory Dodge, editor of ANCHORA, by Lindsay Esparrago
- Bruce Dold, editor of the editorial page, Chicago Tribune, by Desi Botica
- Jeff Domingues, assistant news editor, The Denver Post, by Faiz Siddiqui
- Thea Dreisbach, editor of Dirt Road Daughters Magazine, by Emily Taylor
- Margaret Ehlers Bohling, page designer, Lincoln Journal Star, by Flora Zempleni
- Tom Elkins, video editor, by Eric Jesse
- Leeanna Ellis, online editor at Washington County Pilot Tribune & Enterprise by Sophie Tatum
- Dave Elsesser, news and presentation editor at Omaha World-Herald, by Desire Stephens
- Gale Engle, editor at Indian Hills Community Church, by Kathleen Anderson
- Patrick Ethridge, editor, Beatrice Daily Sun, by Jacob Sorensen
- Rick Epps, presentation editor, The Detroit News, by Kelsey Newman
- Randy Essex, senior news editor, Cincinnati Enquirer, by Anna English
- Jennifer Estep, trader and event marketing specialist, T.D. Ameritrade, by Averi Melcher
- Lindsey Faber, freelance editor, by Nikoel Hytrek
- Jim Faddis, managing editor of Grand Island Independent, by Joseph McCarty
- Mary Fastenau, principal, Anthology Marketing Group, by Caitlin Hassler
- Mike Fitzgerald, editor, Nebraska Cattleman, by Jeanna Jenkins
- Mary Flood, legal media consultant at Androvett Legal Media and Marketing, by Lynn Yen
- Joe Foreman, editor of the Opinion-Tribune, by Taylor Lynch
- Darran Fowler, publisher and editor-in-chief, Hastings Tribune, by Collin Spilinek
- Steve Fredericks, Scottsbluff Star-Herald, by Brett Brown
- Betsie Freeman, features editor, Omaha World-Herald, by Kelsey Haugen
- Cate Folsom, metro editor, Omaha World-Herald by Chris Dorwart
- Chet Fussman, sports editor, Florida Times-Union, by Kollin Miller
- Michele Gallagher, public relations director of Panerai North America, by Natalie Kozel
- Jonathan García, digital editor for KETV NewsWatch 7, by Ruth Oliver
- Natasha Gardner, digital editor of 5280, a Denver lifestyle magazine, by Sable Holub
- Ted Genoways, former editor, Virginia Quarterly Review, by Ben Kreimer
- Tom Gitter, public relations specialist at Bozell in Omaha, by Josi Orsi
- Jenn Gjerde, public information officer at Visit Nebraska, by Brenna McFadden
- Nick Goodwin, copywriter, Thought District, by Tiler Grossman
- Larry Graham, executive sports editor, San Diego Union-Tribune, by Eric Bertrand
- Sally Gray, copy editor at Marysville Advocate, by Ben Malotte
- Teddy Greenstein, sports reporter, Chicago Tribune, by Ben McLaughlin
- John Greilick, photo director, The Detroit News, by Bailey Ernst
- Clark Grell, art director, Lincoln Journal Star, by Alex Lantz
- Joe Gulick, editorial page editor, Lubbock Avalanche Journal, by Sarah Jo Lambert
- Rachel Halbmaier, events and promotions director at the Railyard, by Elle Hansen
- Ryan Hamm, managing editor of Relevant, by Lindsey Richards
- Laura Haraldson, managing editor of several magazines for Tiger Oak Publications, by Maria Lusk
- Kurtis Harms, executive producer, Market Journal, by Alex Wach
- Tyler Harris, editor of Nebraska Farmer, by Shelby Cammack
- Jim Headley, managing editor, Fairbury Journal-News, by Paige Comreid
- John Heaston, publisher and editor of The Reader in Omaha, by Cara Wilwerding
- Carly Heitlinger, editor, Levo League, by Margaret Bassett
- Bailey Hemphill, assistant editor, Omaha Publications, by Brittany Schave
- Felecia Henderson, assistant managing editor features and design, The Detroit News, by Brianna Foster
- Todd Henrichs, city editor, Lincoln Journal Star, by Liang Xiang
- Shauna Hermel, editor of the Angus Journal, by By Ellen Hoffschneider
- Wade Hilligoss, coach support specialist at Hudl, by Zachary Penrice
- Kati and Levi Hime, owners and editors of Wyoming Lifestyle, by Avery Sass
- Curt Hineline, managing editor, Oakland Independent, by Elizabeth Uehling
- Jane Hirt, managing editor, Chicago Tribune, by Hailey Konnath
- Johnna Hjersman, copy editor, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, by Kelly O’Malley
- Sharon Hoffmann, assistant features editor Kansas City Star, by Chris Nelson
- Neil Holdway, news editor, Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, by Adam Kroft
- Roger Holmes, former editor at Fine Woodworking magazine, by Doug Norby
- Margaret Holt, standards editor the Chicago Tribune, by Jessica Gibbs
- Tyler Huckabee, managing editor, Relevant Magazine, by Veronica Venderbeek
- Catharine Huddle, assistant city editor, Lincoln Journal Star, by Zach Tegler
- Maj. Kevin Hynes, editor of Prairie Soldier and public affairs officer Army and Air National Guard, by Heidi Krueger
- Matthew Hynes, photographer, by Anne-Marie Schneider
- Darren Ivy, publisher, Doniphan Herald, by Heather Haskins
- Josh Jackson, Paste magazine editor, by Brennan Shively
- Emily Johnson, digital editor, The Daily Nonpareil, by Natalie Turcos
- Kelly Johnson, Sunday business editor, Washington Post, by Katie Nelson
- Kurt Johnson, editor and publisher Aurora News-Register, by Kaci Hixson
- Brady Jones, page designer, Omaha World-Herald, by Alicia Mikoloyck
- Mike Kellams, associate managing editor / sports, Chicago Tribune, by Emily Nitcher
- The Rev. Nicholas Kipper, editor, Southern Nebraska Register, by Ruth Jaros
- Ted Kirk, photo editor, Lincoln Journal Star, by Kevin Kuehl
- Jane Kleeb, founder and editor of Bold Nebraska, by Shelby Fleig
- Lonna Kliment, director of ticket marketing for University of Nebraska-Lincoln Athletics, by Jeff Chestnut
- Adam Klinker, editor, Ralston Recorder, by Sara Janak and Robert Vencil
- Jeff Knox, senior director of photography at The Daily Herald in Chicago, by Dena Lorenson
- Julie Koch, copy editor, the Lincoln Journal Star, by Sara Hinds
- Jessica Kokesh, regional editor, Kearney Hub, by Sawyer Davidson
- Mike Konz, Kearney Hub editor, by Abby Schipporeit
- Jeff Korbelik, features editor, Lincoln Journal Star, by Abigail Gentrup
- Doug Kouma, managing editor, Meredith Corp., by Morgan Horton
- David Krause, sports executive producer, 9news, by Bailey Neel
- Shelly Kulhanek, assistant city editor, Lincoln Journal Star, by Rebecca Carr
- Marianne Kunkel, managing editor, Prairie Schooner, by Julia Jackson
- Jeff Kurrus, associate editor, NEBRASKAland, by Olivia Johnson
- Patrick Lalley, editor, Argus Leader in Sioux Falls, by Jourdyn Kaarre
- Eric Larsen, senior editor for content at Coloradoan, by Alexa West
- George Lauby, editor of North Platte Bulletin, by Ryan Nielson
- Meg Lauerman, director of communications for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, by Amanda Schmidt
- Jessica Lavicky, e-content managing editor, Farm Progress, by Emma Likens
- Thad Livingston, sports editor, Omaha World-Herald, by Teddy Lampkin
- Josie Loza, momaha.com editor, by Emily Eckel
- Kristen Lueck, senior account executive Man Made Music, by Emily Trofholz
- Dana Ludvik, marketing and communications specialist, Water for Food Global Institute, by Cassandra Huck
- Ruben Luna, associate sports editor, The Detroit News, by Connor Stange
- Tim Lyford, news editor, Argus Leader in South Dakota, by Elias Youngquist
- Karen Magnuson, editor and vice president at the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester, N.Y., by Julia Benson
- Buck Mahoney, sports editor at the Kearney Hub, by Sam Peshek
- Carrie Malek-Madani, communications coordinator for the Lied Center for Performing Arts, by Amy Svoboda
- Jamie May, senior associate editor, BEEF Magazine, by Mollie Wilken
- Don McCabe, editor, Nebraska Farmer, by Melissa Keyes
- Sarah McCallister, copy editor, Omaha World-Herald, by Michael Stanek
- Pat McFadden, Page 1 editor, St. Paul Pioneer Press, by Frannie Sprouls
- Meg McGuire, public relations manager at Charming Charlie, by Molly Deaver
- Terry McHale, California lobbyist and editor, by Michelle Baker
- Terry McKeighan, news editor, Fremont Tribune, by Madison Bell
- Bridget McQuillan, content market coordinator at FlyWheel, by Anna Rosenlof
- Micah Mertes, online entertainment editor, Omaha World-Herald, by Annie Bohling
- Ben Meyerson, news editor, Sun-Times Media Group, by Cara Snower
- Terry Miles, co-owner, Frontier and Holt County Independent, by Adam Pribil
- Chad Millman, editor-in-chief of ESPN The Magazine, by Haley Whisennand
- Elisabeth Mistretta,news editor, Sun-Times Media Group, by Cara Snower
- Scott Monserud, sports editor, Denver Post, by Crystal Zamora
- David Moore, executive creative director, Thought District, by Elise Genaidy
- Alan Mores, co-publisher of Harlan Tribune, by Chelsea Musfedlt
- Lyle Muller, executive director of the Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism, by Andrew Ward
- Carrie Naylor, publisher of Bertrand Herald, by Jeff Renken
- Dawn Needham, deputy news editor, The Detroit News, by Paige Cornwell
- Christopher Nelson, road test editor, Automobile magazine, by Alexander Hall
- Katie Nieland, graphic designer, Chicago Tribune, by Kaitlyn Nelsen
- Andrew Norman, co-founder, director and editor of Hear Nebraska, by Erika Kime
- Brian Norton, online sports editor, Omaha World-Herald, by James Voboril
- Katie Novak, news editor, Burt County Plaindealer, by Jacob Bryant
- Max Ortiz, multimedia producer, The Detroit News, by Emily Walkenhorst
- Crystal Owens, assistant editor, Loudoun Times-Mirror, by Emily Rust
- Jacob Padilla, editor, NebHHSSports.com, by Carter Donahue
- Kaela Paseka, creative director, Duncan Aviation, by Megan Engel
- Amy Palser, managing editor, Hastings Tribune, by Chloe Gibson
- Megan Paolone, head copy editor, BuzzFeed, by Hannah Trull
- Kate Parry, assistant managing editor, Minneapolis Star Tribune, by Lani Hanson
- Haylee Pearl, copy editor, Omaha World-Herald, by Paige Ourada
- Linda Persigehl, managing editor of Omaha Publications, by Kylie Morrison-Sloat
- Linda Persigehl, former managing editor, Omaha Magazine, by Michaela Noble
- Ron Petak, executive editor, Suburban Newspapers, by Elissa Kroeger
- Courtney Pitts-Mattern, copy editor at Omaha World-Herald, by Alissa Shanahan
- Zach Pluhacek, online editor, Lincoln Journal Star, by Emily Walkenhorst
- Nick Piastowski, assistant sports editor, Omaha World-Herald, by Connor Schuessler
- Scott Poese, station manager, KBRX in O’Neill, Neb., by Marc Zakrzewski
- R.J. Post, assistant managing editor, Grand Island Independent, by Jacy Marmaduke
- Noah Prestwich, associate editor at ClickHole, by Nick Kuklinski
- Heather Price, copy editor/page designer, Lincoln Journal Star, by Bethany Schmidt
- Tomari Quinn, editor and director of audience development at Topeka Capital-Journal, by Jordan Huesers
- Sue Ramsett, news director for KOLN/KGIN 10-11, by Zach Revense
- Jennifer Ramundt, copy chief and assistant managing editor at Meredith Corp., by Lizzie Moran
- Anne Raup, photo editor, Anchorage Daily News, by Kaylee Everlee
- Andy Raun, regional editor, Hastings Tribune, by Daniel Buhrman
- Lisa Reid, field editor of Showtimes Jr. Livestock Magazine, by Samantha Schneider
- Erin Reynolds, project and brand manager, Archrival, by Jonathan Crutchfield
- Guy Reynolds, Willa Cather scholarly edition books editor, by Weston Poor
- Christine Ricciardi, copy editor, GuideLive, by Alli Lorensen
- Bill Rischmueller , operator of Wakefield Republican, by Daniel Vanderveen
- Mary Lou Rodgers, editor, Douglas County Post-Gazette, by Sarah Vogel
- Linda Rosenberg, director of copy editing at Penguin books, by Morgan Spiehs
- Corey Russman, editor at Sandhills Publishing, by Julia Peterson
- Burt Rutherford, senior editor, BEEF Magazine, by Valerie Kesterson
- Katie Sands, vice president and account director at Swanson Russell, by Maddie Stuart
- Deb Shanahan, Money editor, Omaha World-Herald, by Michael Bishop
- Kayla Schlechter, field communications manager for POET, by Miranda Broin
- Nicole Schmoll, freelance copywriter, by Haley E. Barber
- John Schreier, managing editor at The Daily Nonpareil in Council Bluffs, Iowa, by Hannah Pachunka
- Dave Schroeder, news director, KRVN, by Bryce Doeschot
- Gary Schwab, senior sports editor, Charlotte Observer and Raleigh News & Observer, by Gage Peake
- Mark Schwaninger, L magazine in Lincoln, Neb., by Kayla Stauffer
- Brien Seifferlein, video editor, NET Nebraska, by Will Stott
- Kevin Selders, associate editor, Ascend Integrated Media, by Joe Thiesfeld
- Lew Serviss, staff editor, The New York Times, by Carrie Niemeier
- Howard Sinker, digital sports editor, Minneapolis Star Tribune, by Josh Skluzacek
- Amber Smith, news producer at KOLN-KGIN 10/11, by Lindsey Berning
- Patrick Smith, online editor at Omaha World-Herald, by Annie Pigaga
- Dave Stagg, owner and editor, HM Magazine, by Ben Rickaby
- Chip Souza, sports editor of the Northwest Arkansas Times, by Robby Korth
- Larry Sparks, a former online editor, Omaha World-Herald, by Kyle Cummings
- Chris Spurlock, graphics editor, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, by Anna English
- Philippa Stasiuk, content developer at Resort Lifestyle Communities, by Matt Balascak
- Christine Steele, senior copy editor, The Capital Group Companies, by Gabbi Nicole
- Kathy Steinauer Smith, community investment manager at Woods Charitable Fund, by Griffith Swidler
- Haley Steinkuhler, media specialist, Institute for Agriculture and Natural Resources, by Emily Long
- Hilary Stohs-Krause, multimedia reporter and online editor, NET, by Margaret Baker
- Colleen Stoxen, assistant managing editor for Page One, Minneapolis Star Tribune, by Angela Hensel
- Ginger Stringer, Web editor for the Columbia Daily Tribune in Columbia, Mo., by Demetria Stephens
- Tim Summers, graphics editor, The Detroit News by Mikala Kolander
- Jenny Sundberg, brand communications manager at Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, by Jolene Dreier
- Marissa Tankersley, editor of Drive, by Amanda Schutz
- Rob Taylor, sports acquisition editor, University of Nebraska Press, by Libby Mason
- Zach Tegler, sports copy editor, Omaha World-Herald, by Matt Jensen
- Ryan Terrell, news editor, Suburban Life, by Margaret Sorce
- John Teti, senior editor at the A.V. Club, by Drew Preston
- Tyler Thomas, owner and writer of the blog Nebraska Foodie, by Lauren Grace Bejot
- Emily Thornburg, communications director for Nebraska Corn Board, by Morgan Zumpfe
- Michael Todd, managing editor, Hear Nebraska, by Matthew Masin
- Mike Vandermause, sports editor and columnist at the Green Bay Press Gazette, by John Howell
- Ben Vankat, online editor, Omaha World-Herald, by Anna Gronewold
- Susan Veidt, president U.S. Central Region of FleishmanHillard, by Nicole Emanuel
- Brandon Vogel, managing editor at Hail Varsity, by Sarah Frey
- Krista Vogel, account manager, Hurrdat Social Media, by Sherene Al-Turk
- Job Vigil, managing editor of the North Platte Telegraph, by Cade McFadden
- Curt Wagner, features editor, RedEye, by Ally Phillips
- Kent Warneke, editor, Norfolk Daily News, by Michael Menish
- Tim Weber, sports copy editor, Lincoln Journal Star, by Josh Nedved
- MaryJo Webster, data editor, Minneapolis Star Tribune, by Aidan Connolly
- Darrell Wellman, managing editor, Nemaha County Herald, by Thomas Shelly
- Sandra Wendel, owner Write On, Inc., by Michaela Odens
- Metta West, copy editor, Meredith Corp., by Cristina Woodworth
- Kevin Wilkins, editor, of Skateboard Mag, by James Pace-Cornsilk
- David Williams, editor Omaha magazine, by Jillian Humphries
- Melanie Wilkinson, news editor, York News Times, by Kelsey Baldridge
- Bill Windler, sports editor, Milwaukee Journal Star, by Jake Sueflohn
- Connie White, state government editor, Omaha World-Herald, by Jaime Melton
- Mark Zeligman, assistant sports editor, Kansas City Star, by Chris Heady
- David Zenlea, associate editor, Automobile magazine, by Alexander Hall
- Sara Ziegler, entertainment editor at Omaha World-Herald, by Maranda Louglin
- Chuck Zimmerman, founder, ZimmComm New Media LLC, by Kristi Block
- Joeth Zucco, senior project editor, University of Nebraska Press, by Jordan Kranse
Quick. Write down one sentence describing the scene at the finish of the state qualifying track meet.
Twenty heads drop to their notebooks and scribble out the first thing that comes rushing to mind.
This was how Patricia Mish found her love for journalism.
Patricia Mish is the managing editor for Faith Grand Rapids a magazine run by the Catholic diocese in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The magazine is a mix of marketing for the church with stories and news. Overall, its angled to connect people with Jesus and help Catholics become more engaged with their parish community. The publication runs every month and is available at http://www.dioceseofgrandrapids.org/multimedia/pages/faithgr.aspx#.VmhzObQk_0s
As a child, Mish enjoyed reading newspapers and following the Cubs box scores in the Chicago Sun Times.
Mish found her passion for journalism when she was in high school at Regina Dominican High School in Wilmette, Illinois. She was inspired by her teacher in a basic journalism class. The teacher would describe an event to the class and they would have to write a lede for the story quickly. Mish loved following the news and became the news editor for the school newspaper as well as the editor for the yearbook.
Mish said, “All the President’s Men” came out around the same time she took interest in journalism therefore the movie most likely influenced her interest in the career. She said she was attracted to journalism due to “the excitement of chasing a story, being on the scene of a major event, and deadline pressure”.
Her first journalism job outside of her high school publications was a reporting intern for the Jordan Independent, a tiny community newspaper in a largely rural community south of the Twin Cities.http://www.swnewsmedia.com/jordan_independent/
“I wanted to be a news reporter for a major metropolitan daily,” Mish said.
Her dream job within the field was to be a reporter at a major newspaper. However, that dream has now changed to covering the Chicago Cubs for MLB.com or the Chicago Tribune.
Mish starts out each day checking her email like everyone else. She makes sure she is up to date on everything that is happening in the office and with stories before anything else. The rest of her day is spent assigning stories to writers and photographers, editing copy and working with designer to plan the magazine. Mish also spends a majority of her time planning content for future issues of the magazine.
The most taxing part of her job is planning. This is a large part of my job but however it isn’t my strong suit she said.
“Trust your instincts and don’t hesitate to ask questions,” Mish said. Students who are just starting out often forget that we were all in their shoes at some point.
She said to remember to notice details when you’re interviewing a subject or reporting a story. Interviews should follow a conversation format instead of Q and A. Mish looks for lulls in conversation during an interview and suggests to let them happen. She said that is most often when subjects will open up.
“Always ask if they have anything to add,” Mish said. “Often subjects do and it can be good stuff.”
The best advice she was given when she was starting out, she still uses today. An editor told her early on,”You can’t be objective but you can be fair and balanced. Make sure all names in a story are spelled right.”
She used to have trouble writing stories about major events.
“An editor told me to put away my notes and just write what happened,” Mish said. “That helped move me off square one when I’d get stuck. Then go back and fill in the details and quotes.”
By Kelsey Hansen
Lanny Holstein, beat writer and editor at “Huskers Illustrated,” has a passion for the Cornhuskers and all things sports. When he realized that we wasn’t good enough to actually play sports at a professional level, he turned to his love of newspapers and consuming sports media and became a sports journalist. In a phone interview, Lanny shared what it’s like to work in such a fast pace field.
“There is no such thing as a typical day for me, everything is very unscheduled and sporadic because we print an entire issue after every Husker football game. I have a very short amount of time to write and edit an in-depth feature story and at times it can be difficult. This job is not for those who need a set schedule,” Holstein said.
Although his job can be difficult at times, Lanny finds that the most rewarding thing about working in journalism is being able to be hands on in creating content that sports fans like himself, can enjoy. Lanny also likes the instantaneous feedback he gets after his work is published, whether it is good or bad.
Every job has its rewards but it also has its challenges too. In the world of sports journalism there are many difficulties that individuals like Lanny must overcome.
“Coming up with good, creative material is extremely difficult because the football team is in such high demand for interviews that us journalists must all talk to the players and staff all at once,” Holstein said.
That means when someone asks a great question to a player or staff member, every journalist receives the same answer, so creating content that is new and exciting using information that everyone already has is very tricky.
“You want your story to be unique but you don’t want it to be so obscure that it comes off as stupid to readers.”
Not only does Holstein’s work need to be creative and unique, but it needs to be well written and error free. Self-editing is very important and is something that he does regularly with every one of his stories to make sure his story is the very best it can be.
“Editing is extremely important in my job. After I write them, I spend a majority of the time re-reading it and making sure there are grammatical mistakes and that my work is accurate. I always want to put my best foot forward when writing and editing my stories so that in the end it’s nearly perfect and ready to publish.”
Every writer and editor has his or her own techniques when it comes to editing a story. There’s a certain process that journalists use, whether it be using a checklist, re-reading the story multiple times or skimming. Holstein’s process is one that is highly used because it is efficient and effective.
“When it comes to editing my work, reading the story out loud always works best. If my story is conversational and can be easily read through, I know my work is done. However, if I notice a sentence that doesn’t seem to end or is super choppy I know my structure needs work. It’s all about how the paper sounds, it needs to be natural,” Holstein said.
In a sport driven state like Nebraska, Holstein’s job as a sports journalist and editor is one that many students aspire to have. For those students with dreams of having a career in sports media, he has some crucial advice.
“If you want a job in sports media it’s pinnacle that you have a driven love for sports. This job is not the most conventional because it takes a lot of your time, time some students may not be willing to give up. Expect to work late nights on weekdays and weekends in order to get the job done. Sometimes you’ll miss out on movie nights with friends but you do eventually have free time. It’s not like you don’t have a life, you still do, but if you have a love for what you’re covering that time won’t feel like a loss.” Holstein said.
So how does one obtain such a high demand job like Lanny’s? Here’s a hint: having experience and connections helps!
“Before I graduated, I worked for the Daily Nebraskan where I was covering Husker football. This meant going to press conferences to get information for my stories, but it also entailed the opportunity to make connections with professionals in the sports journalism field,” Holstein said.
Holstein did his best to network while he was at those conferences and it was the time he spent making connections that led to his now boss calling him for his current job.
“He said I’d be making way more money than I was at the school newspaper, so as a poor college student I accepted the position immediately and have loved it ever since.”
By Lizzie Mensinger
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Although Heather Lundine has a doctorate degree in English, her love of editing actually began with food and travel.
As an intern at the University of Nebraska Press, she edited a variety of material. But food and travel pieces were always interesting to her. “Those are still my favorite,” Lundine said, “just because they are fun and exciting.”
Now as a developmental editor at Randolph Lundine, a manuscript consulting firm, and an acquiring editor at the West Virginia University Press, she edits a wide range of literature from scholarly articles to fiction.
Lundine has lived in Kansas City, Lake Tahoe and Phoenix, but she moved to Nebraska to work on her doctorate at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Lundine’s internship at the University of Nebraska Press eventually grew into a full-time position.
Now as an acquiring editor for West Virginia University Press, Lundine has the freedom to create the types of books and literary works that she wants to edit. She currently is working on creating a list of books for the university to publish. She reads articles and reaches out to authors to see if they are interested in writing a book or creating a textbook based on their articles.
If authors agree to write for the West Virginia, Lundine works with them to create their work. She also edits and reworks each piece before it is sent to press.
“It’s about making a deal, designing the types of books that you think are best for the company (West Virginia University) to publish and what is going to be the most interesting, thinking how does one thing fit with another,” she said. “Does a scholarly article translate well into a full book?”
Lundine also plays an active editing role at Randolph Lundine, a manuscript consulting company that she co-owns with Ladette Randolph, editor-in-chief of the journal, Ploughshares, and author of several books. At Randolph Lundine, Lundine works as a developmental editor, a role she describes as “a second set of eyes before the manuscript is sent to a publisher.”
A typical day for Lundine involves going over manuscripts and sifting through masses of emails and articles with the hopes of finding a new project to propose. Lundine said that the best part of her job is when “you are invested in a book or a scholarly work from conception to publishing. And it gets even better if the book goes on to win awards. It definitely gives me a great sense of pride.”
The people who work with Lundine feel the same pride about working with her. Judy Muller, author of “Emus Loose in Egnar: Big Stories from Small Towns,” had this to say about working with Lundine: “After Heather read my first draft, she was encouraging and blunt at the same time… The book that eventually went out to readers was vastly improved because of her editing skills. The excellent reviews that followed, from the Wall Street Journal to National Public Radio, would not have been possible without Heather Lundine’s expert guidance.”
As a manuscript consultant, Lundine says the most common error she finds while editing is that people tend to embellish their words too much. She calls it “purple prose.”
“People often get lost in their own narrative,” she said. “You find that people forget what they learned about writing when they were young, you forget narrative arc, and paragraph structure gets sloppy.”
As for her best advice to writers, she said: “Use clear, good words. Use the narrative arc, and make sure you know your audience.”
Lundine also posts writing prompts on her website regularly to help her authors grow their skills and to attract new writers.
As developing and acquiring editor, Lundine’s career has been fruitful. Her editing skills have taken her from an internship to owning her own business. Lundine has a lot on her
“The literary community is wonderful, fast-paced and being a part of it, you are constantly learning,” she said. “Knowing that you may have made a book a little better gives you a great sense of joy and pride.”
By Will Stott
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Professional careers in editing can begin in a variety of ways, but it’s unlikely that most people in the field today always knew they would end up there. If you ask grade-school children what they want to be when they grow up, you’re more likely to hear “fireman” or “astronaut” than “copy editor.”
This was the case for Brian Seifferlein. He didn’t have any idea he would end up in a career in editing; it was something that just fell into his lap. In an interview about his life and his career, Seifferlein expressed a different view of editing than we traditionally think about.
Seifferlein is a videography-editor at NET Nebraska. Nebraska Educational Telecommunications (NET) is a statewide network that provides educational public broadcasting through television and radio. Based in Lincoln, Neb., it is the state’s affiliate for PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) and NPR (National Public Radio). Seifferlein works for NET Nebraska’s television station.
Q: When did you decide you were interested in editing?
A: In editing? Well, I guess that has more to do with my TV career in general. I went to school to either be a teacher or a journalist, and the school I went to was pretty well known for both of those, so I thought, “well, I’ll just go there and figure it out.”
My first semester I auditioned for the campus TV station. I was an actor, and I just had a really good time. Then I started writing my own stuff, which kind of led to directing it, which kind of led to putting it all together. So, from there, I got my own show on the campus television station and when you’re putting together these shows, the shooting’s always really fun. But then, you find yourself in an edit suite. We were doing tape-to-tape editing, at 3 o’clock in the morning. And when I was doing it a couple of times I had to ask myself, “Why am I doing this?”
I wasn’t doing it for a grade or anything, and it wasn’t for… It wasn’t for anything, really! I mean it was for the “experience” or whatever, but there was a point at which I was like, “You know, I’m doing this and it kind of sucks being here in the morning, but I really like it, and I’m not even getting paid to do it.” I think that was kind of the point when I realized; shooting and editing, I really like that.
Q: How did you end up at NET? What were some career moves that happened between college and now?
A: (After college) I moved back home and decided, “Alright, I’m just going to start applying to all these TV stations,” a lot of which were in the local area. One of those was in South Bend, La., and I never heard anything from them. But then, a long time later, I got this call from Augusta, Ga., and apparently the same company that owned the South Bend station owned their station, as well. They called and we did a few phone interviews, and I went there to work for them sight unseen.
I really enjoyed that time of my life, but I found that I really didn’t like TV news. In my opinion, if you tell somebody there was a house-fire or a break in, that isn’t really helping anybody. It’s just gawking. But there were occasional glimpses of what you could really do with the medium that would be helpful. But at the same time, it was just great, because you shot and edited every day. You just perfected the craft. You could really get into a mode where you stopped thinking about the basics. There was a point when I was doing that when there was never any stress on a shoot. I felt like I knew what I was doing every time, and that gave me the freedom to start being more creative. I wasn’t even thinking about the basics anymore. I wanted to leave, though. I wanted to get out there. I started looking all over the country and I found I wanted to get into public TV. Nebraska was the first one I found and got offered a position at.
Q: now that you’re here, what’s your average day like?
A: When I’m editing a long documentary, I’ll be in an edit suite for maybe two or three months on an 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. day. So, those are what get down to my average days. I work eight to five whether it’s a long project or short project. I get a script from a producer, and I look at that script. From there I try to organize my project on the technology that we use. I divide up the footage and figure out what all footage we have. There’s a lot of methodology for that. If it’s a huge documentary and they’ve shot lots of stuff, I have to figure out where it all is and how to organize it.
After that, I’ll start building scenes. Whatever little scenes are within a five-minute piece or an hour-long piece, I start building those scenes. On an hour-long documentary, you kind of forget about the whole rest of the program while you’re working on this five-minute piece. I build those scenes, which are usually directed a lot of times around music. That’s something that’s changed since I first started here. I used to build the scene with that footage. I’d organize all of the back-and-forth between the narrator and the sound bites, or even just the sound bites. Now, I don’t do that. I get the music right away that kind of drives the scene, and then start working from there.
At some point in there, a producer comes in and we work on it together. Does the scene work? Does the scene flow? We look at whether the piece writes well once it’s up on the screen and whether or not it looks okay. Because, what might have to happen next is the writing might need to change. There might not be the editing that can save it, if that makes sense.
Q: If you had to give some advice to people just starting their careers in editing, what would you tell them?
A: It’s an interesting field, because it’s really driven by technology, and that technology is always changing. So you have to stay on top of the technology. The other thing is, you can’t get hung up on the technology so much that it becomes an excuse for how you create your product. No matter what, you should always be learning.
The other thing, overall, I think is with editing. When you’re doing editing, you kind of have to trust your instincts and really go with them, while still being flexible. But then, you also have to be prepared, be flexible enough, to throw everything you did down the toilet. Just wipe the slate clean and start all over.
So yeah, that’s my advice. I think, it’s a little bit generic, but it boils down to a “be flexible, but follow your instincts,” kind of thing.
By Sarah Vogel
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Working at a small newspaper comes with challenges as well as rewards. After her junior year in college as an education major, Mary Lou Rodgers decided that teaching was not for her. She switched to journalism because she knew that writing was one of her strengths. With a degree in journalism from Creighton University, she did not decide to be an editor. However, an opportunity arose, she tried it out and ended up finding a great fit.
Rodgers became editor of the Douglas County Post-Gazette in October of 1998 after she had held the assistant editor position at the paper for the previous 12 months. This newspaper covers the towns of Elkhorn, Bennington, Waterloo and Valley, as well as the school districts of Bennington, Douglas County West and Elkhorn and the Mount Michael High School. All are near the city of Omaha.
Planning and publishing a weekly newspaper, as well as sorting through daily emails, are some of Rogers’ day-to-day responsibilities. She also has to look for stories, assign stories, proofread and edit, process photos, write school board stories, plan for special sections and decide what goes on each page of the paper.
Though small, the newspaper’s readership has been growing. The main draw is that the families in the area “see pictures of their kids playing football that would never appear in the World-Herald, for instance, since that paper has so many schools to cover,” Rodgers said in an email interview. “We are able to build some trust with our readers.”
Rodgers said the more personal aspect of her job is “listening to people who call to tell you their story, which is not really a story we can do, but they just need an ear,” she said. “Or listening to a complaint and trying to handle it diplomatically and make a correction.” She said the best part of her job is “I work with some great people, and we all pull together to put out a quality publication.”
The newspaper has a print and an online version. The print version has been published for more than 80 years. It also has all the stories, whereas the online version is just a sampling, containing teasers of a few news and sports stories. The paper usually has 12-16 pages, though sometimes special sections are inserted for more news. The Douglas County Post-Gazette sends out sample papers occasionally, and once new residents find the paper, Rodgers said they usually subscribe.
Social media are beginning to come into play a little more, but because the paper has such a small staff, it’s difficult to monitor social media as much as is required. The Post-Gazette’s Facebook page is up-to-date and contains small blurbs on what will be in the paper.
“It’s interesting every day and different every week,” Rodgers said about her job. “I am never bored – sometimes a little overwhelmed – but never bored.”