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
By Collin Spilinek
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Instead of attending college after his high school graduation, Darran Fowler spent three years working odd jobs at grain elevators and construction sites.
He eventually decided to become a journalist and enrolled in the College of Journalism at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1987.
“That was always my dream,” Fowler said in a phone interview.
Since 2010, Fowler has been the publisher and editor-in-chief of the Hastings Tribune, serving Hastings, Nebraska. He’s worked at the publication since 1995.
The career should have been an obvious choice for Fowler, who spent his childhood at the Tribune. His father worked in the printing department for 40 years, operating the press.
“So, I worked part time at the sports department when I was in high school,” Fowler said. “I caught papers off the press and worked in the production circulation area part time.”
Fowler said that later in high school, some of his classmates were having difficulty in deciding what they wanted to do with their lives.
“I’m unique in that I knew what I wanted to do,” he said. “I wanted to work in a newspaper.”
After graduating from UNL in 1991, Fowler joined the staff of the Plainview News, a weekly newspaper based out of Plainview, Nebraska. It was here that Fowler said he got his first real training in the newspaper business.
“I was a jack of all trades,” Fowler said. “I wrote the stories, whether it was news or sports, I laid out the pages, I attended all the school board meetings, Chamber of Commerce meetings, sold advertising, took the pictures, did all of the negatives, all that stuff.”
Fowler stayed at the publication until 1995, when he returned to the Hastings Tribune to work as a regional editor. After taking the positions of city editor and managing editor, Fowler replaced Don Seaton as publisher, who had held the title since 1974.
An early riser, Fowler usually unlocks the building in the morning and locks it back up at night.
“When I come here, that’s when I plan and prepare for that day’s newspaper,” he said. “And I have a pretty good idea before I even get there what’s going to be in the paper, but then I go through and I check out as far as whether there’s been any developments locally or anything like that.”
Fowler also works on preparing the paper’s newsletter, which is sent out in email blasts. He also reads through the copy and lays out three pages of the paper, including the opinion page.
“And then it’s just making sure that, through the team of people here, that we’re putting things on the app, we’re getting things on the website,” Fowler said. “In a lot of cases, I’m doing that particularly during the odd hours in the evenings or weekends.”
Although he noted the cyclical routine schedule of the paper and the high amount of stress, Fowler said he loves getting to work with other people who share his passion for journalism.
“And no one’s getting rich at it, but it’s in our blood, and this is what we enjoy doing,” he said. “It’s just hard to explain, but I enjoy coming here to work. I find that fun.”
One of the more difficult aspects of Fowler’s position is talking to people in the community about what the paper is to them.
“There may be some perception out there that we’re dinosaurs and we’re dying,” Fowler said. “And I don’t necessarily think that’s the case. We’re actually, more or less, growing.”
In 2011, the paper had a circulation of 9,356 for Hastings, which had a population of 24,907 in 2010, and the surrounding area. Fowler said the internet has allowed the audience to expand rapidly in the past 15 years.
“We are reaching a bigger audience than we were 10 or 15 years ago,” Fowler said. “While they may not always be reading the newspaper, they’re reading it in some fashion, whether it be on their laptop, their desktop, their smartphone or the actual printed copy.”
The paper has tried to use the internet for its advantage for years. In the summer of 2016, Fowler and other members of the paper worked on a phone application for the newspaper. The app is available for both iOS and Android.
“We’re still kicking the tires around on that thing, and we got to do better at it, there’s no doubt about it,” Fowler said.
With different platforms of news available to the public, Fowler said the paper has to work together to decide which information is published online and what information is put into print. The relationship between print and online almost causes a mini-rivalry within the paper.
“Basically what my approach is, is the website and the newspaper don’t compete against each other, they complement each other,” Fowler said. “A lot of [the decision is] just being smart and what your instincts are.”
The internet has provided small newspapers the ability to break a story and give important or critical information to the public at any time of the day.
But with the rise of fake news on social media outlets such as Facebook, Fowler said he wanted the paper’s online presence to reflect the trust gained from the print version. Having a dedicated team of reporters do all the work themselves is one way to gain this trust.
“I guess that speaks volumes about the credibility of newspapers and their websites,” Fowler said. “We still practice the basic fundamentals of good journalism through solid writing and solid editing.”
Fowler also said it’s critical for newspapers, especially smaller ones, to hire people with a variety of skills, including photography, writing for different sections, editing and layout and being able to work with technology.
“That’s how it’s really changed, and as far as I’m concerned, at an operation like ours, a small daily newspaper, those people that have that kind of a skill set are very valuable,” Fowler said.
When it comes to editing skills, Fowler said it takes years of practice, but the more you read and write, the better you’ll be at editing. He also suggested reading stories over in the eyes of the average reader.
“If I have to go back and read a sentence or paragraph a second time, one, I either got distracted, which often times [may] be the case, or there’s something wrong with it that I had to go read it again to understand it,” Fowler said. “At that point, I’m the reader, and so I don’t want the reader to have the same experience.”
The Hastings Tribune has a role to serve in the community, and Fowler believes having these skills will help fill that role.
“And there’s no replacing just good, solid journalism,” Fowler said. “We’re not The New York Times or The Washington Post, but we cover things in Hastings and our surrounding area just as aggressively as they cover the national news.”
By Amy Svoboda
University of Nebraska- Lincoln
Carrie Malek-Madani will return to her position as communications coordinator at the Lied Center for Performing Arts with a new title under her belt: mother.
Malek-Madani is enjoying maternity leave with her newborn daughter, Eleanor, but in February the new mom will resume the position she has held for more than three years.
Malek-Madani is swapping her daily tasks of writing press releases, pitching to reporters, responding to patron inquiries and formatting mass Lied emails for changing diapers and a demanding around-the-clock bottle feeding schedule. Both are daunting tasks, but Malek-Madani has a much longer history in public relations than in parenting.
After graduation from the University of Colorado, her first job was a paid internship at SSPR, a public relations firm based in Chicago with satellite offices all around the country. The internship developed into a full-time job, where Malek-Madani represented companies as renowned as Patagonia and Groupon, but working with for-profit companies was not what she had envisioned for herself.
Working with a non-profit like the Lied Center is “the perfect fit” for Malek-Madani. It is close to her home state of South Dakota, plus the performing arts are something Malek-Madani has always adored. She grew up singing, dancing and playing musical instruments.
“My position at the Lied Center provides a perfect marriage between my personal interests and my professional skill set,” she said.
Working for a non-profit has its drawbacks too, like the limited resources because of a strict budget and tight time constraints. She says the Lied could benefit from more time to evaluate the products it is producing, but that is not always possible in such a busy industry.
“We are rarely afforded time to debrief,” Malek-Madani said.
The communications coordinator is working on her master’s degree from the College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln just down the street from the Lied Center.
She has a brief history with journalism, having worked for several small newspapers while in college. Now she focuses on building relationships with reporters who could earn the Lied Center future media coverage.
Malek-Madani says that developing relationships with reporters, other non-profit and arts organizations, artists and management teams is the most important skill required for her job.
“I think a lot of communicators don’t understand what powerful skills making a first impression, connecting with people and being kind, likable, positive and memorable are,” she said.
Editing plays a vital role in Malek-Madani’s career too. She regularly edits content for playbills, promotional materials, fundraising materials and articles about the Lied Center. She also proofreads all communication to donors, whose generosity helps run the non-profit. She even reviews important emails that Lied Center executives want a second opinion on.
“Always, always, always get a second pair of eyes on everything,” she said. “It is easy to miss the same mistakes over and over when you are close to a project.”
As for the evolution of the communication field, Malek-Madani says she has noticed drastic changes already in her relatively short career. She believes there are going to be increased expectations for PR professionals to have journalism skills because of editorial and writing staffs decreases. She said numerous media outlets have asked her to cover the Lied Center for them because they are short-staffed, even asking for help with photography and videography.
“Media outlets may not have the manpower to cover an event but will gladly accept and publish our materials, provided they are editorial quality,” Malek-Madani said.
When asked if editing really does matter, she eagerly exclaimed that “it’s everything,” adding that it greatly shapes the way the public views the Lied Center.
“I am hypercritical of organizations that don’t take the time and care to perfect their donor and marketing materials. It’s not difficult, it just takes time and attention to detail.”
Malek-Madani compares PR to being a new mother, saying both are around-the-clock jobs. She admits that she often put her career before personal time with family and friends, but hopes that baby Eleanor will help balances out her priorities.
“I hope to be an excellent example for Eleanor of someone who can simultaneously manage a rewarding career, marriage and motherhood.”
By Hannah Pachunka
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
The hours are crazy. The pay is low. Little credit is given. But journalists do what they do because they have passion and curiosity.
That’s true for John Schreier, the managing editor of The Daily Nonpareil newspaper in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Growing up, Schreier wanted to write novels. While attending Papillion La-Vista High School, his interest in journalism sparked.
The excitement and varied experience drew him in.
“That’s what keeps me coming day in and day out; I would never not want to be a journalist,” Schreier said during an interview at his office.
As a 16-year-old, he was one of the few teenagers reading a newspaper every day. He said he was a know-it-all growing up, and that is what an editor needs to be.
“Being in charge, you need to wear a lot of hats,” Schreier said. Editing is not the only duty of the managing editor. Schreier needs to be able to jump around, knowing where and when he is needed.
This job is perfect for him because he didn’t want to be working at a desk all day. Working in a newsroom means there are no typical days in the office, and he loves that.
Schreier’s path started with his internships in Hastings and Sutton after he sent out applications all over Nebraska. He later earned an editing internship at the Denver Post through Dow Jones and then eventually a job at the Omaha World-Herald. Unfortunately, being a morning person and working a 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. shift wasn’t going to work out for very long. He moved to a weekly paper, owned by the same company.
Schreier initially thought that he would be a sports reporter. The opportunity never arose for that; however, many others did.
“The path to get where you want to go is not a straight line; mine was a very jagged line,” he said. For Schreier, this was not a bad thing.
Schreier was working in Papillion when his boss took a position at The Daily Nonpareil. Schreier started in the online department there after his former boss told him about the job opening. He worked his way up to the managing editor position.
His passion is talking to people and telling their stories. Schreier understands that the reader needs to be come first because journalism is nothing without them.
As managing editor, he answers complaints from readers. One day he received a phone call from an upset woman who found errors in the crosswords. Schreier felt like he let her down. He said journalism isn’t about the journalists and what they do — journalism is about the readers.
These days, reporters and editors must do more than just edit. When both of Schreier’s photographers are busy, he sends a reporter to take his or her own photos. He said being versatile is important.
Versatility also relieves tension in the newsroom. Lack of experience in reporting can cause difficulty for a copy editor. Having an understanding of each position in the newsroom helps the team be more successful.
The newsroom needs to be a coherent team that works together. He knows his team has his back. Having connections and friendships in the newsroom makes the process much easier.
“Journalism is an art and a science,” Schreier said. Strong writing skills mean nothing with poor research skills — and vice versa.
Schreier is aware of the strengths and weaknesses of the journalists on his team. If a journalist lacks in one skill, he coaches and works with him or her to create work that is valuable to readers.
Just in the five years since Schreier graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, journalism’s pace has sped up. The focus is shifting to online news.
Schreier had to use online resources to learn web coding to do more for the online paper. Web coding is a skill he wished he focused on a little more before his position. He used MySpace as coding practice.
Schreier said a reoccurring challenge for posting online news is figuring out how to stand out because readers have so many options to get their news.
“I don’t know what it’s going to look like next year, let alone in the next 10 years,” Schreier said when asked what media will look like in 10 years. His two predictions for the future are that information will come from more diverse sources and news will be free. He said people don’t want to pay for news when it’s so easily accessible for free.
Often people forget that journalists are normal people with interests and opinions. Schreier has had upset readers accuse the paper of leaning too far in one political direction.
“I don’t hate your candidate. I don’t hate your team,” he said when asked what people should know about his job.
He pointed to his Cubs pennant hanging on the wall in his office and talked about how he has his own favorite teams and political stance, but that is all put aside in the newspaper. His team tries its best to be fair in reporting.
Schreier would advise any up-and-coming journalists to find their niche. He says it’s important to be well-read, persistent and prepared to hear ‘no’ more than ‘yes.’ Aspiring journalists need to be prepared for constant change.
When Schreier is hiring, he looks for someone who is hungry for journalism. Journalism is challenging and not for everyone. Those who succeed are dedicated and passionate to find the truth for the readers.
Octavio Kano-Galvan is a journalism professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He helps students grasp the concepts presented by different mediums such as video, photography and text. Before becoming a teacher, Kano worked as a photographer, cinematographer and camera operator. In this short video interview, Kano talks about his experience and offers advice for students.
By Jordyn Henry
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Lorena Carmona never imagined a career in journalism. As a young girl, she wanted to be a doctor.
But after she came to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, she discovered she was good at journalism.
Now, she is a morning producer for NBC Nebraska in Hastings and loves her job. In Carmona’s final year of college, she worked on “Star City News” where a broadcasting professor told her she would be great as a producer. That led to taking a chance on her job in Hastings after graduation.
“I didn’t expect to like it; I didn’t expect to do it,” she said. “At first it was hard because I had very little training.” But the TV station saw her potential.
Although Carmona majored in journalism not broadcasting, she made the transition work. Carmona used the differences to her advantage.
The writing styles are different. Broadcasting has a more informal, conversational tone, but you must self-edit and that’s where journalism’s writing skills come in handy. Fact-checking and accuracy are critical.
Being the producer of a show is like being the editor for a newspaper or magazine, trying to figure out what the audience likes and dislikes.
“People don’t see who I am,” Carmona said. “I get to put it all together and I get to figure out what people really enjoy from the show. People see the anchors and meteorologist, but there’s a lot of putting stuff in and rewriting so people can relate to them.”
The best part of journalism to Carmona is dedication to the facts. “When you’re able to get the facts,” she said, “find story that nobody else found, or help others find a reason to care, that’s what’s so great about journalism.”
Carmona’s passion for the job comes through in her work.
Carmona has been at NBC Nebraska for three years. She expects to stay longer because she enjoys what she does. She’s in no hurry to leave.
“When it comes to this industry you see people start small and then they move up big,” she said. “No matter what job you get, just keep learning. Even if you’re not a fan of it, see what else is in that field. Who knows what the future holds?”
By Bryce Doeschot
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Growing up near DeWitt, Nebraska, Dave Schroeder was always interested in journalism. Each evening, he read one of the newspapers that his parents’ subscribed to or watched the nightly news. Sometimes both.
He combined two of his passions and graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with majors in general agriculture and broadcast journalism.
After college, Schroeder found a job at one of Nebraska’s largest radio stations, KRVN, located in Lexington, Nebraska, with a signal reaching regions of Nebraska, Kansas and Colorado.
“KRVN had an opening as an overnight announcer and I did that for five years before advancing to an evening news shift, then I moved to an afternoon news shift and three years ago I began serving as news director,” Schroeder said in a phone interview.
As news director, Schroeder begins his day with a cup of coffee while speaking with the other employees to discuss current events around the coverage area. His day quickly picks up while reviewing coverage plans for the two full-time and one part-time reporters that he oversees. In addition to overseeing the newsroom, Schroeder also has a midday newscast shift and he gathers news from around the community, state and nation.
“Each day, it seems like we produce more stories than the day before, so it is a challenge to constantly stay on top of everything,” he said.
The newsroom at KRVN has changed dramatically since he first joined the team 1987.
“When I started out in radio 29 years ago, it involved a notebook and a pen, as well as a recorder. Today, as technology has evolved, so has the way that our consumer gets the news,” Schroeder said. “It is not just a matter of putting stories together for the air anymore, but also in the other formats that our consumer uses such as Facebook , Twitter and Youtube.”
Because of the changing radio industry, Schroeder said there is a great opportunity for journalism students interested in the broadcast industry.
“Radio is a very viable career that is constantly evolving to include more technology,” he said. “There is a need for journalists in this industry.”
Schroeder offered advice for any student interested in getting into the radio industry.
“Contact radio stations and see what opportunities they might have to job shadow, do an internship and then seek the proper education,” he said.
Although the radio industry is constantly changing, Schroeder said that he loves his job at KRVN.
“I never wake up not wanting to go to work.”