Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Lining Up Dead for 1st Deadline

First Deadline of The Seminole Scribe as the editor

The moment of staying on campus after dark, clicking 1 million buttons per minute in Adobe inDesign and last minute editing for the The Seminole Scribe, it is finally published!

My first on hand experience as being the editor has been an adventure for this DEADline. Making sure everyone turned in their drafts on time to be edited was harder then peeling a banana with one hand. 

On day one, the drafts were due and only 3 out of 7 students turned their drafts in. From here on, I knew this job was going to be more than challenging. Even though I only had three drafts to edit, I spent over an hour on each draft to make sure they have everything possible to make the story more intriguing... more interesting for our readers. 

When I sat one-on-one with each reporter to go over their drafts, I asked them the same questions Professor Sheppard would ask me when I turn in my drafts. 

  1. Why is this important to the reader? 
    1. If they were not able to answer these questions, then it shouldn't be in the student newspaper. Simple as that. 
  2. Who did you interview?
    1. Some students had "anonymous" quotes. Yea.... that was not acceptable. All quotes that were claimed anonymous, my adviser and I either chucked them out or paraphrased them. 
    2. No one wants to read a quote and not know who said it. Might as well put an algebra problem there so people avoid the article. 
  3. When did this occur?
    1. Is it current news or old news?
      1. If it was current news then great. A reporter wrote about an event on campus and his article was about covering the event. Only problem was, his whole article covered EVERYTHING. Action by action, which was tedious to go through and edit. 
      2. Another reporter covered a local restaurant in the area which opened a month ago; therefore, it was not current at all in the news world. However, it was still a great piece so editing the story so students will care was challenging. I sat with the reporter to discuss word choice and she even helped design her own story in the newspaper, showing full dedication, which I appreciated.
  4. Where is this happening?
    1. If it was on campus, they needed to have at least three different quotes from students. When you have multiple interviews, your quotes tend to differ and it makes the story more interesting to see how different students react to the same situation.

The next day when the second draft was due, it was more easy going. Since I already knew what most of the stories were about, I had a better feeling at how I should help them structure the article. 

  • Quotes
  • Transitions
  • Nut graphs
  • The lead
I loved working with everyone because I had a chance to experience how other writers handled their stories. Every writer is different and what makes them unique are their word choices, sentence structures and by the depth of their article. 

That is why I love The Seminole Scribe. Since we have such a diverse staff this semester, every single article will differentiate from the story sitting on top, below or next to. Long and short articles are printed throughout the entire paper, giving the paper variety, and I like that personally. 

I look forward to the rest of the semester working with my peers to make this paper the best Seminole State has ever published. 

-- Sabira Mawji, editor

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