Leadership and Team Building

Utilizing novel platforms to solve problems

Since I first joined my newspaper class, one issue has been at the heart of every staff problem: communication. While visiting the USA Today newsroom one summer, I inquired about what communication platforms journalists at the professional level used. Her answer? Slack. When the new year started up again, I introduced this messaging site to our staff, significantly easing communication between staffers.

Everyone’s an A

As the West Side Story print managing editor, I am in charge of grading approximately 30 staff members in the print section. In order to make this job easier, I use a spreadsheet system with colors indicating where points are missing and which students I need to talk to regarding missing assignments and such. For the sake of anonymity, student names have been omitted from the spreadsheet.

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These grades are then entered in by my adviser. In order to ensure that we agree on the point values I decide, I often leave comments explaining my reasoning for the point values individuals receive.

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Communication is key

It is my job as managing editor to communicate with all students regarding deadlines and provide assistance with anyone who is struggling to meet said deadlines, whether it be helping them reach out to a source or sitting down to think through the story writing process out loud. I am also in charge of helping the Editor-in-Chief organize the rest of the print editorial staff.

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Work hard, play hard

Since the winter holiday season is dubbed “the most wonderful time of the year,” I wanted that to be true for newspaper staff as well. Two years ago, I began organizing a “Secret Santa” for staff members in all three West Side Story publications. Each participating staffer was assigned another to purchase a small gift for. This created a more exciting, positive atmosphere, particularly during a point in the year where the newsroom becomes very busy.

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Phone a friend

Though I could provide more examples of my leadership and team building abilities, I believe the people who can best testify to this are the students I have interacted with through journalism. Please visit my “Letters of Recommendation” page to find student testimonials regarding my character and journalistic ability.