Never Send an Angry Email

Thinking Like an Editor
Bill Elsen, executive editor of The Washington Post (retired)

My time as EIC is ending in the next month and I’ve debated attending sessions that focus solely on how to be a better editor-in-chief.  As a senior about to enter the work force I’m trying to find a nice mix.  With that being said, I started the morning with Mr. Elsen, formerly of The Washington Post, in “Thinking Like and Editor.”

He’s an old-school journalist who really emphasized students should learn the basics of journalism and leadership and it will transfer across any platforms.

Qualifications for a Good Leader

  • Admit mistakes
  • Create publication specific stylebook
  • Be an expert in all the fields
  • Acquire respect from staff
  • Understand various leadership and personalities of people
  • Remain responsible to your readers
  • Follow organization and hierarchy
  • Become a teacher
  • When you leave, be sure to have developed a staff

I’d like to add one more to this list and that’s being a good self-assessor.  I know my leadership style has never been one to give an abundant amount of positive feedback so it’s nice to have a friendly reminder that you should never send an angry email and give positive feedback in a crowd.

-Anna Johnson


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