Learning what it takes to be editor-in-chief

I’ve yet to hold the Aug. 29 Times-Delphic. To cautiously glance at the cover. To let the ink etch splotchy tattoos on my palms.

To hold the paper I’ve long loved and gaze at my name atop the masthead.

Already, though, I’ve discovered a lot about what it takes to be editor-in-chief.

I’ve long loved organization and preparation.

Like my own daily Space Shot (a ride that propels Adventureland visitors 200 feet in the air), drawing a fat line through the tasks on my to-do list is a thrill. My lime Sharpie’s signature squeak completes the adrenaline surge.

Even as I follow my summer TD calendar religiously, even as I develop a new feedback system, even as I hone the Sunday layout plan, I can’t plan for everything — and it pains me to admit it.

In the news, surprises are the norm, and I’m (slowly) beginning to grasp their impact on my job.

I’ve also discovered I can’t do it all on my own — another fact it pains me to admit. My staff is a dedicated, unusual, loud, AP Style-loving bunch, and it’s time I show more regard for their talents by trusting them.

As an editor, I admit I hover at times, but for me, trust is a slow process.

Finally, I’ve discovered I must not forget but change what drew me to journalism in the first place: writing.

I know I won’t have time to write as many news stories for the TD as I did this past year.

Instead, I plan use my writing to connect with my readers on a more personal level and ideally, show that I’m approachable and open — by writing a column at least once a month revealing and detailing the TD’s goals, plans and motivations.

When I enter the EIC world Aug. 29, I enter it alongside a few loyal pals: my beloved ink stains, my lime Sharpie and most of all, a staff that accepts my quirks (even my hovering habit).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *