Blog: Meanwhile at city desk…

By Reubin Turner
Assistant City Editor

It’s often been said that the only thing in life that’s constant is change. Through my time here at the Lariat, I’ve found that to be especially true. The advent of another semester on city desk has brought with it another staff and another round of reporters. All with different levels of experience, different personalities and different styles of writing. One would think after three years of being a student editor, adjusting to the change would be almost second nature. This is, however, not the case.

Making the edits, contacting the writers and reporters to make changes and working with the news desk to make sure said changes are made is not the difficult part. I’ve marked on enough articles to know that we don’t use the oxford comma in AP style, or that we don’t capitalize titles. That part I can deal with.

Questions, however, that stem from the reporters which deal with their style of writing, have always been tough for me. As an editor, I’ve found that there’s always a fine line between allowing the writer to keep their style and independence, and correcting to what you feel to be the best presentation to the reader.

There’s also the matter of making sure the writer is not offended by revisions to their work. I constantly think back to the first article I submitted as freshman at Houston Baptist University. Mildly put, it was awful. I remember, however, the time that the news editor at the time, spent going over the article with me, and showing me how to write a proper news article. She could have easily told me that writing wasn’t my thing, and that she didn’t want to waste her time with a non-journalism major. She chose, however, to teach me. And this is the difference I would like to make in the lives of the staff writers and reporters.

This is in my opinion, why the newsroom is perhaps the best classroom I’ve been in while at college. Learning how to lead a team and working on parts that will in turn make the whole better is a skill I feel is vital to me in the near future as I enter the market. Being able to coordinate and manage time with the reporters is something I’m extremely glad to have been able to work on while an editor. And although I may never be able to perfect it, I’m glad I’m at least able to try.