A recap of #EditorTherapy session with @profKRG and me

In case you missed it, here is a rough transcript of the Q and A I did with Kenna Griffin on her “Editor Therapy” live session. It’s all just the basics, not including the additional comments from posters in reaction to us. (It’s hard to capture the core of what is going on during a tweet up after the fact.) In any case, I hope you enjoy it!

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I apologize for the excess tweets during the next hour as I host #EditorTherapy chat. Please join us!

 

Welcome to #EditorTherapy. I’m so happy you’re here!

 

It’s no secret that the tools we use to report the news are changing, as are audience expectations.

 

However, we also know that many of the fundamentals of journalism remain constant.

 

Tonight’s guest literally wrote the books on the changing nature of journalism.

 

Vince Filak (@DoctorOfPaper) is a professor and adviser to The Advance Titan (@atitan) at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh (@uwoshkosh).

 

In addition, @DoctorOfPaper is the author of five journalism textbooks, including the Dynamics of Media Writing. Vince’s sixth book, Dynamics of Media Editing is due out in 2019.

 

We are fortunate to have @DoctorOfPaper with us to share his expertise on what’s changing and what’s remaining constant in journalism.

 

Before we dig in, please introduce yourself, including your title and student media outlet. #EditorTherapy

 

I am Kenna, a journalism professor and collegiate media adviser for @MediaOCU. #EditorTherapy

 

You can follow along with the chat with the #EditorTherapy hashtag and by following @profkrg.

 

We will use the Q&A format for the chat. Please include “A” and the question number before your responses. #EditorTherapy

 

Also, don’t forget the #EditorTherapy hashtag on all of your responses.

 

Q1 is on the way! Please introduce yourself now if you haven’t already.

 

Q1: Through your research and writing, what have you found to be the constants in journalism… things we all should foucs on? #EditorTherapy

 

A1: You need to communicate clearly and effectively via the best possible platform. #EditorTherapy

 

A1: Also, you need to focus on audience-centricity: What do your readers want to know, not what do you want to say. #EditorTherapy

 

A1: Finally, accuracy matters above all else. If you are clear and concise but wrong, you’re not helping anyone. #EditorTherapy

 

Q2: Overall, how are student journalists doing with these constants? What are some things they should focus on?

 

A2: Well in some cases, poorly in others. The understanding what a “fact” is needs work. #EditorTherapy

 

A2: The issue of how to tell people what matters most first could be stronger. #EditorTherapy

 

A2: However, they understand their peers and they work well in communicating with them. #EditorTherapy

 

 

 

Q3: What have you found to be the greatest changes in journalism… things we must adapt to? #EditorTherapy

 

A3: The days of “general interest” content are over. We need to come to grips with that. #EditorTherapy

 

A3: We need to look at what niche we fill w/our student publications and then defend that niche. #EditorTherapy

 

A3: I don’t need the @atitan to tell me about @RealDonaldTrump’s latest decree. I can get that anywhere. #EditorTherapy

 

A3: I need stuff I can’t get elsewhere, stuff about UWO. Be the expert at this niche and you’re good. #EditorTherapy

 

 

Q4: How are student journalists doing, overall, with these changes? #EditorTherapy

 

A4: It varies. Above all, students need to focus on “right tool, right job.” This matters a lot. #EditorTherapy

 

A4: Example: Some students who wouldn’t pick up a print paper insist on a print-first mentality. #EditorTherapy

 

A4: Some folks use Twitter for a specific purpose as a “receiver” of info, but don’t use it that way to “send” content. #EditorTherapy

 

A4: In other cases, students get it. They use the tools they would use to get info to communicate with readers. #EditorTherapy

 

 

Q5: What are some tools that today’s student journalists must have in their toolboxes? #EditorTherapy

 

A5: I believe you can NEVER have too many tools in your toolbox. It’s all about using them properly. #EditorTherapy

 

A5: Skills: Clarity, precision, accuracy, ability to connect w/an audience all matter. #EditorTherapy

 

A5: The biggest thing is being able to explain: “This matters to you, the reader, because…” #EditorTherapy

 

A5: In terms of platforms, they change so quickly, it’s tough to say what to use. That’s why skills matter more. #EditorTherapy

 

A5: I had to redo my “web” chapters in my reporting book TWICE before publication d/t tech shifts. #EditorTherapy

 

A5: Still, skills transfer: e.g. If you can write in a simple N-V-O structure, you can do headlines and tweets well. #EditorTherapy

 

 

Q6: What do you see as the most important trait that student journalists need, heading into the profession? #EditorTherapy

 

A6: Wonder and grit. If you don’t say “I wonder why” at least once a day, you won’t find great story ideas. #EditorTherapy

 

A6: Grit matters because without it, you’ll never get the answers you want when you are working a story. #EditorTherapy

 

 

Q7: Address the elephant in the chat. Is news dying? Is journalism still a viable career option? #EditorTherapy

 

A7: News will never die. Our definition of it and our consumption habits change but the “need to know” is eternal. #EditorTherapy

A7: We need to better understand what people need and how they want to receive it. #EditorTherapy

 

A7: Years ago, we wrote what we wanted and people had no real choice but to consume it how we sent it. #EditorTherapy

 

A7: Now, those standard news values alone don’t drive consumptions and we must cater to our readers better. #EditorTherapy

 

A7: I don’t mean pander to their wants, but rather focus on preferences of delivery for things they need. #EditorTherapy

 

 

Q8: Your next book is about editing. What did you find remained constant in editing process? #EditorTherapy

 

A8: 1) If you spell something wrong, someone will notice and think you are an idiot. #EditorTherapy

 

A8: 2) Editing is a multifaceted approach to content improvement. If you focus on that, you help the readers. #EditorTherapy

 

A8: 3) Everyone needs and editor (or two or three of them…) #EditorTherapy

 

 

Q9: What were some of the changes you found in your research of editing? #EditorTherapy

 

A9: Just like other J-areas, editing is about effectively reaching an audience. #EditorTherapy

 

A9: The editing aspect is shifting somewhat away from painstakingly adhering to grammar. #EditorTherapy

 

A9: Old-school: Like classical music, notes-on-page approach. New-school: Jazz, a structure with variations as needed. #EditorTherapy

 

 

Q10: What types of leadership skills do student journalists need to hone to carry with them into the profession? #EditorTherapy

 

A10: Leadership in general is key. We don’t train people how to be managers in school.  #EditorTherapy

 

A10: I once saw a line that “Editors are reporters whose feet have grown weary.” That’s been our approach.  #EditorTherapy

 

A10: Reporting and editing are two different skills. We need to help them with certain skills of management.  #EditorTherapy

 

A10: Skills: Collaboration, calmness, organization, finding common ground, learning to help others.  #EditorTherapy

 

Q11: In all of the research you’ve done on editing, writing and convergent journalism, what are some findings that surprised you? #EditorTherapy

 

A11: Most of the problems we face aren’t about the technology or news, but about the culture.  #EditorTherapy

 

A11: Convergence essentially failed because people held biases toward their old media identities.  #EditorTherapy

 

A11: Technology doesn’t matter as much as the core skills (writing/editing) and storytelling do.  #EditorTherapy

 

A11: One book I read said “The tone is in your fingers,” which meant technology won’t save lousy work.  #EditorTherapy

 

 

Q12: Blog ? from @GrammarPurist: “How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?” #EditorTherapy

 

A12: A “chuck-load” of it.  #EditorTherapy

 

Q13: Important! Where can we buy your books? #EditorTherapy

 

A13: Amazon stocks them. My new one “Dynamics of News Reporting” comes out in 2018.  #EditorTherapy

 

A13: You can bid on an advance proof copy via @SPLC book auction at the ACP/CMA Dallas convention.  #EditorTherapy

 

A13: The blog, dynamicsofwriting.com, adds to both writing texts. Swing by and give it a look.  #EditorTherapy

 

 

 

 

Thank you so much for attending! #EditorTherapy

 

Did you know there is an #EditorTherapy Facebook page? I’d love to connect with you there.https://www.facebook.com/Editortherapy

 

We will not have #EditorTherapy next week because many students and advisers will be at #collegemedia17. Who will we see there?

 

Until next time, please visit me at www.profkrg.com for more practical resources for student journalists. #EditorTherapy

 

 

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