Editors have long been considered at the top of the food chain in journalism, especially in newsrooms. I have only worked with editors via email before, where I have pitched my stories to various news sites and had the editor either accept or decline my submission. During my internships and work in newspapers, I have worked with the editor to tune up my stories and adjust their style to fit the publication. I have never experienced collegiately between a journalist and editor, where the two compile stories together to create a publishable end product.
During JOUR311, I worked closely with Bec Martin, where I acted as editor for her and she returned the favour for me. Having Bec as an editor during my writing process was a real asset, as she helped gather information and adjust my article to fit the Wikinews regulations. Bec’s help while I was writing stories made me think of her as more of a curatorthan an editor. Josh Sternberg identifies curation as gathering all the fragmented pieces of a story into one location, using knowledge to make the story more interesting and helps readers to navigate through the content of the story. Trust is essential between curators and writers, just as curators should hold the same ethical principles as writers. I found that Bec and I shared the same ethical principles and trusted each other with our work. This helped forge a good editor-journalist relationship between Bec and myself, which ensured that our writing and stories were the best they could be.
Working with Bec, she helped identify the style errors in my articles and assisted with the gathering of newsworthy sources and accurate information. I found this was essential for Wikinews, as the Wikinews reviewers have strict guidelines when it comes to style, newsworthiness and accuracy. Bec also had previous knowledge and experience working with Wikinews and therefore knew the style requirements and specifics such as how to include images and hyperlinks. Wikinews reviewers favour the inclusion of these additions to articles and therefore, through Bec’s help, my stories appeared more favourable to the Wikinews reviewers.
Another benefit of working closely with an editor is the reduction of typos and grammar mistakes in my stories. Typos are embarrassing and can sometimes be the reason a story doesn’t get published, because it definitely takes the professional out of the journalist. However, typos frequently appear in all different news publications. Journalists are busy, working at a fast pace and sometimes miss the small mistakes that readers don’t. With Bec by my side, she picked up on mistakes that I missed because I was too involved with the story or because my frantic mind glanced over them. Working closely with an editor, rather than having an editor glance over the finished product helped to ensure that the finished product was as accurate and clear as possible. I think it’s a relationship that mainstream news publications should consider.
In newsrooms, the editing process occurs while pages are at the proofing process. While usually many eyes glance over pages, mistakes still happen. In all my articles submitted to Wikinews and Bec’s too, there were never spelling errors, typos or grammar errors. The collaboration between Bec and I was to thank for this. This helped save both of us from embarrassment and further criticism from the Wikinews reviewers.