Because there’s always room for improvement

As most of you reading this probably already know, this school year I am Co Editor-in-Chief of Red River College’s student newspaper, The Projector, alongside fellow CreComm comrade Hayley Brigg.

 Let me tell you – I love putting my “editors hat” on. In high school, I was always the one to edit everyone’s papers. It was always “Dani, do you think you could give this a look over before I hand it in?” And I always eagerly agreed. (If you haven’t figured it out already, I’m a bit of a nerd. But hey, someone told me once that nerds rule the universe – so I guess I’m okay.) 

 As much as I love editing, and have been editing my classmates’ and friends’ work for many, many years– being the editor-in-chief of a newspaper isn’t an easy task. Especially when you’re ripping apart your friends’ and classmates’ work. Especially when it’s friends and classmates whose talent, and knack for journalism you hold at a very high regard. 

 I’ve been told to get over it. And I will. To be honest, the more I do it, the more I just forget about the byline and treat it as any other story: a story that needs a good lead, good quotes, organization, style, etc. Sometimes, a lead will need to be reworked, quotes will need to be re-arranged and pieces of the story will need to be cut. It’s just part of the job. 

 In my “what is journalism” post on my day-to-day blog (mediocreobservations.wordpress.com) I said that “to be a journalist is to always believe that there is room for improvement in your stories.” 

 I know as a journalist, I am repeatedly asking myself the question: “how could my story have been better?”

 Here’s an answer, though, surely one of many. I always find that an extra set of eyes – and another journalistic perspective (be it from a fellow classmate, or instructor) always help when it comes to making a story better. 

I can only hope that those writing for The Projector this year will have the same perspective. I am only another set of eyes, another journalistic perspective. My way isn’t always the only way, or necessarily the right way, but the way I see best fit for our newspaper. And even then, I will always have room for improvement as an editor, too.

 In our first Broadcast Journalism class Joanne Kelly said something that I think will stick with me for a long time. She said something along the lines of “there is no such thing as a perfect story. The day you believe your story is perfect is the day you should pack up your things and leave, because your work is done.”

 I  like to keep this in mind both when writing, and editing. I think it’s a valuable piece of advice for anyone who choses some form of journalism as a career. 

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