What Kind of Editor To Look For

via glasbergen.com

via glasbergen.com

This isn’t always possible when you are applying to a new paper, but it’s something to really consider.

I got lucky here at the Chronicle. My editors are great people and the characteristics they possess make me a better person and a better reporter. They can be aggressive, but it’s for the good of me and the paper.

Now, I’ve worked for other editors in different capacities and it’s been really tough on me and my psyche. I wish that wasn’t the case, but, sometimes, you really have to think about what kind of boss/editor you should look for.

I’ve yet to talk about anything like this on this blog, but it’s crucial to the development of you as a reporter. It’s key to WANT to go to work everyday. Having a boss/editor that you don’t like or get along with makes that a bit hard, no?

From what I’ve experienced, there are three kinds of editors: the angry one, the regular one, and the calm one. Of course, there are varying degrees between the three, but I’ve found those to be the three main ones.

I have no problems with regular and calm editors. I respect them and they respect me. Everything is fine in that kind of relationship. They expect a lot out of you and, rightfully so, you do the best you can. When things get stressful they keep the newsroom calm. The regular editor will get fired up and probably get upset when you mess up, but at the end of the day they don’t go overboard with making you feel like a mouse. They know the boundaries of respect. The calm editor will be just that. They won’t get out of hand. They will lead by example and expect more out of you. They’ll leave you, the reporter, to expect more out of yourself on a consistent basis.

I don’t think I need to talk about the angry editor. I don’t want to. It’s not the conditions a reporter, of any age, should have to work under. It’s disruptive and distracting for the entire news process. It’s a detriment to any newsroom. Reporters shouldn’t have to be afraid or worry about their work like that.

An editor should mold you into a good reporter. They should give you the foundation of what the newsroom is like and what will be expected of them moving forward. Right?

A good editor should be strict, but be reasonable. They should demand respect without actually demanding respect. Does that make sense?

The environment for a reporter has to be specific, but, I feel, a reporter really needs “room” to be themselves. I’m not saying reporters should go and do everything on their own, but, rather, they need a certain amount of guidance.

Then again, each person/reporter is different. Some reporters need more guidance than others.

What do you look for in a boss/editor?



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