My Blue Jay Journal TV adviser doesn't want the job of Editor to fall into the hands of only one person. She makes sure that every staff member takes the time to edit the content of our website. It's a process I have grown to love. It incorporates the whole staff working together to make our website the best it can be by allowing each staff member to experience the leadership role of "Editor." As each staff member digitally edits, they submit suggestions and feedback to make our publication accurate and as error-free as possible.
I believe that all journalists, regardless of if they are broadcast or print, should grow as editors. As more and more news outlets expect journalists to be trained in all aspects of delivering the news, it is critical to not assume editing is someone else's job. Content should be clear and concise for the public we serve, not riddled with errors.
Ultimately, it is my name on the byline and on the news staff roster. Assigning blame for any problems in my work to an editor isn't going to be of service to anyone. While I appreciate, value, and take to heart all the times other people edit my work, I also have to have a keen eye. I cannot expect them to locate and correct every issue for me.
Below are screenshots of recommended edits and feedback for www.bluejayjournal.com that I have made.
Positive feedback is also critical in the editing process. One way I generate positive feedback is by creating awards for my fellow staff members when their work shines. Below is a certificate I designed and presented to a fellow staff member for a blog post that touched my heart.
My editing work doesn't stop there. Often, as I slate and log interviews for the stories I produce for Blue Jay Journal TV, selecting the best possible soundbites to weave into a broadcast script can be challenging. Writing the actual script can be yet another mountain to climb. Ultimately, when I piece a broadcast script together, I tend to do it on paper and an eraser comes in handy quite often.
When I feel I've reached the point for my adviser to edit, I am prepared to make any changes necessary to keep the script in a broadcast style: easy on the ears, conversational, active, and concise.
Before I sit down to edit the story using Final Cut Pro, my script may have gone through anywhere from 3 to 10 edits. With that said, there are still times that I'll sit down to edit the video with my script in hand and realize my story isn't flowing well.
An example of this is a story produced over vandalism at our school. It looked good on paper, but once I saw the video come together, I realized the story was incredibly too long. It dragged and wasn't engaging to the viewer.
I asked my adviser and fellow team members for help. It was a tedious process, but a story that was just over three minutes long was re-edited to just a little over two minutes. It now moves at a faster pace without losing the audience.