Immersed in staying ahead of the curve
I am immersed in the world of publishing, newspapers in particular. I participate in the logistics of putting out both the print and online versions. I select what articles will be published in each supplement published by my department, Special Sections.
Not taken lightly. Those selections are based on what I hear from advertisers, readers, co-workers, and people in the community. The decisions I make as to what articles are published, or not, are not based on my personal preferences. I surf the Web to figure out what the latest trends are – in other words, I try to stay ahead of the curve. I don’t want to follow. I keep track of where everyone has already been. I re-visit the past occasionally, and then move on.
Guidelines. In general, I follow guidelines – they are guidelines, not strict rules.
How I get it all done. I hire freelance writers / photographers to go out in the community and get feedback for articles that will be published on particular topics. Sometimes it’s easy to get people to agree to be quoted in an article, sometimes it’s not. The point is that we try to make each article we publish in the Special Sections department have a local flavor.
Once those freelance articles are submitted, I edit them for grammar and AP style formatting. Photos have to be formatted for a specific resolution, lightened, sized, etc.
One person show. It may surprise you, but Special Sections is a one person show when you take away the freelance writers / photographers. When there are too many supplements being published at the same time, I call upon co-workers to select articles from the online editorial subscription services and place everything on the page. It’s the easy part of the job. Anyone can do that part of the job.
The tricky part about being an editor is being able to read and write. If you can’t, then it’s best to move on. The title “editor” isn’t bestowed lightly. Editors are usually writers first. Hopefully, an editor knows from hands-on experience every step involved in the work flow for which he / she is responsible.
I send digital files to the next department in the work flow – prepress. That department creates the plates for the press. Before the plates can be created, I have to proof each page of the supplement on the computer screen. If the ads and text look fine, I give my approval and the plates are made. If I see a problem, I flag that page and track down a solution for the problem.
Online version of the Special Sections supplements. I upload the articles, photos, and print covers to the newspaper’s Web site. There’s no automatic script working “behind the scenes” to do it for me.