Our Journalism class consists of multiple managers and editors of the different areas of our newspaper. Journalism consists of a variety of aspects of news. Below are the key positions involved in running the BlueXpress and their descriptions.
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: The editor-in-chief (EIC) is the most responsible person on the BlueXpress staff. The EIC works closely with the advisors to plan each issue, to run editorial and staff meetings, to supervise and help other editors, to troubleshoot any problems, to represent the BlueXpress at meetings in or out of school, and to set the tone of the newspaper for the staff and the school. The EIC establishes a team approach to publishing the newspaper, making sure that all members of BlueXpress – editors and writers – work for a single purpose: to publish the best high school newspaper possible. The EIC organizes training sessions for all members of the staff, both editors and writers. The EIC is totally responsible for everything the BlueXpress publishes. Therefore, the EIC must maintain open communication with all editors, writers and the adviser. The EIC, working with the adviser, plans a production calendar for every issue. The EIC meets with section editors to generate story ideas. The EIC reads, edits, and reviews all content in the BlueXpress before it goes online or to the printer. The EIC leads an evaluation of every issue of the BlueXpress in a meeting of the editorial board. If anything needs doing, the EIC takes charge and does it or makes sure it gets done. The EIC takes credit for the BlueXpress successes and accepts responsibility for the BlueXpress problems. The EIC makes the BlueXpress a winner. Previous experience on the BlueXpress newspaper, or on another school’s is desired, but not required. A successful online editor should have both strong technological and excellent writing skills. If there is a case when the BlueXpress has co-editors-in-chief, both EICs decide between themselves and with the adviser how specific responsibilities are divided between the two. In any case, the last sentence of the above paragraph applies to both.
ASSOCIATE EDITOR: The associate editor works closely with the EIC as an assistant. In some cases, the associate editor may be considered to be in training to become an EIC sometime in the future. Such an appointment, however, is not guaranteed. The associate editor assumes responsibility for special projects that the BlueXpress undertakes – projects such as planning themes for special issues, working with section editors who need help, running special meetings of staff writers. The associate editor also works with the EIC in reviewing each publication before it goes to print, often specializing in such specifics as headlines, layouts, captions, page references. The associate editor assists the production editor with each of the items listed in the previous sentence. The associate editor alerts the EIC and adviser of any problems or situations that interfere with a team approach to publish the BlueXpress. The associate editor helps to keep the BlueXpress intact.
PRODUCTION EDITOR: The production editor manages the technology of the BlueXpress. Working with the section editors, the production editor supervises the layout and placement of every section of the online and print editions. Working with the EIC, the production editor arranges and places advertising at appropriate locations online and in the print edition. Working with the associate editor, the production editor pays special attention to the appearance and special details of the newspaper. The BlueXpress uses Adobe software for the print edition and WordPress for the online edition. Therefore, the production editor must know the programs and be able to train section editors in its use. The production editor is a key person in the total BlueXpress process, so this editor must be an exceptionally responsible person and team player, one on whom everyone can depend to do an excellent job. The production editor, with the approval of the EIC and adviser, may designate an assistant, someone who is technologically proficient, to help with these responsibilities.
SECTION EDITOR: A section editor specializes in one part of the newspaper: for example, news, opinion, entertainment, sports, feature. At meetings with the EIC and associate editor, the section editors determine how the content of the BlueXpress will be organized, who has responsibility for each section of the content and what expectations each section should meet. A section editor, in meetings with the EIC and associate editor, generates story ideas. In a meeting with writers, a section editor hears writers’ ideas for stories, reviews story ideas already generated and determines which writer will work on which story. A section editor makes sure that all writers know their deadlines and communicates with them periodically during the writing process to ensure that writers are on task and whether any of them have any issues with a story. A section editor helps any writer who needs help and works with the writers to produce copy that is interesting, articulate, and appropriate for the BlueXpress. A section editor works with the EIC to edit all copy and with the production editor to format all articles so that they are ready for placement in the BlueXpress. Therefore, a section editor should have excellent writing skills and should know or learn the software program in order to fulfill this responsibility. To be a valuable member of the BlueXpress, a section editor must attend meetings called by the EIC and may be required to work after-school hours to edit and format copy.
BUSINESS AND SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER: The business manager cares for the advertising and circulation of the BlueXpress. Advertising is often requested by local businesses and services. The business manager communicates with prospective clients, negotiates contracts and closes transactions. Before officially accepting an ad, the business manager must meet with the adviser to determine whether the proposed ad is appropriate for a high school publication. On approval from the adviser, the business manager obtains advertising copy, collects payment or sends bills for each advertisement. Working with the production editor, the business manager oversees the size and placement of every ad. The business manager may organize a small group of students for an advertising staff, if approved by the adviser and EIC. As part of the BlueXpress, the business manager is the link between the staff and community advertising. The business manager is ultimately responsible for the financial success of the BlueXpress.
STAFF ASSISTANT: A staff assistant works with a section editor as a mentor. The assistant learns and applies skills that would help the assistant become a more responsible part of the BlueXpress in future years. This is an ideal position for a freshman and/or a staff writer who wants to apply for a leadership role in the future.
WEB MASTER: As the title implies, the online editor is responsible for managing the online edition of the BlueXpress. The online editor may design and organize pages, instruct and assist other members of the staff in contributing to the online edition, and maintain an up-to-date presence on the web. With the approval of the EIC and adviser, the online editor adds new content, deletes out-of-date material, and develops appropriate links. As a vital member of the BlueXpress, a successful online editor should have both strong technological and excellent writing skills.
PHOTOGRAPHY EDITOR: The photography editor works with everyone on the BlueXpress. Primarily responsible for taking photographs that complement other people’s articles, the photography editor may also propose to the EIC ideas for self-contained photo stories. Section editors request and arrange photo ops with the photography editor. The photography editor is responsible for developing a corps of photographers.