My first session today was with retired Washington Post editor Bill Elslen, who now works as a consultant helping young journalists and news staffs do their jobs better.
At the beginning, Elslen said he was going to give nine points about how to be a good editor of a campus newspaper. Throughout his 50-minute talk, I couldn’t quite identify exactly which points made up the nine, but a few really jumped out an me.
- Strive to be the best at everything-You have no right bossing other people around if you can’t do what they do. So be the best reporter, videographer, photographer, etc. Those under you will respect you more.
- Know how to criticize people-Don’t belittle them in front of others, never email negative criticism and remember that positive criticism is just as important as negative.
- Your main job is your obligation to your readers and your secondary job is leaving a legacy to pick up the torch-If you’ve done right, the paper will continue on a great path when your tenure is up. There will be people and a system in place that will endure.
Anybody who plagiarizes now is dumber than a post.