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Monthly Archives: July 2008

Katie Hotynski was a DJNF editing intern at The New York Times News Service during the summer of 2007. After finishing her last semester of college she was hired full time. In January she moved from Wisconsin to New York, where she now works at The News Service as a staff editor.

I’ve gotten the question plenty of times, from job interviewers, family members, and a few reporters who just didn’t understand: “Why do you want to be a copy editor?”

I wasn’t entirely set on it until my internship last summer at The New York Times News Service.

After a summer of editing stories from almost every section of the paper, writing headlines for International Weekly publications sent all over the world, and learning a lot about editing, the news business and, actually, pretty much everything, I decided that this was definitely what I wanted to do. So I headed back to my last semester of college at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and started applying for copy editing jobs.

A few months before graduation, I got a call from my editor at The Times, asking if I wanted to come back and work as a staff editor. So I moved to New York in January and pretty much picked up where I left off last summer. Here are a few things I learned along the way: Read More »

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Following is a paragraph from a recent DJNF/Temple editing intern report. It is reflective of the general concern of most of those who attended the residency, are doing well in their internships, and are now on the doorsteps of the rest of their professional lives. A big part of this is finding and landing that next job. . .not just any job, but one that is a good fit going forward. Readers of Temple University Editing Residency are encouraged to share their insights and observations regarding experiences as well as strategies in regard to job hunting. Leave a comment on this post or send it to trayes@temple.edu If you have a photo to go with your response, a jpeg at about 72 dpi would work best along with a cutline. Thanks.

Jessica Lin is a DJNF/Temple editing intern at The Wall Street Journal. She and other DJNF/Temple editing interns are in the midst of job searches, of creating options for themselves in terms of their career development.

It’s so strange to think of the summer as being almost over and
winding down. I have definitely learned so much, but it is a little
daunting to search for a real job out in the ‘real world.’ I’m not
exactly sure where to look and how to go about searching. I’ve been
looking on online job sites like mediabistro and on Poynter, but it
just seems like I’m sending out my resume and cover letters into a
big black online hole. Any advice or ideas you have for job searches
would be greatly appreciated!

Rachel Rosenthal, above and hard at work on a story, is a DJNF/Temple editing intern at The Star-Ledger in Newark, New Jersey. Following are excerpts from her most recent report.

Just two weeks left at The Star-Ledger and I continue to collect shards of
new information about the newspaper business every day.

For one, I learned that everything can change, literally, at the eleventh
hour. On Thursday night, I was assigned the Page One splash story. The
piece was about a new Sesame Street project launched with the Defense
Department. The show targets children whose parents are serving, or have
recently returned, from Iraq or Afghanistan. My nerves jingled because, as
my slot slouched over to toss me the adjoining photos he said, “Take your
time and give this your best shot.” I had been given the Page One splash
before. No need to mention that my headline was changed. This time, I
really wanted to make it. So I took my time. When the proofs came out, I
saw my headline fanned across a huge photo of an Elmo-clutching toddler.
Page One. Success. Read More »

Photo shows Carl Sessions Stepp and his son Jeff during a visit to New Zealand early in 2008. From the 1968 residency in Philadelphia, when Carl Stepp was part of the first and experimental editing intern training program, he has worked as a reporter for the St. Petersburg Times; a copyeditor, reporter and line editor at the Charlotte Observer; and national editor and cover story editor at USA Today. He’s taught at the University of Maryland since 1983, where he also serves as senior contributing editor to AJR magazine. He’s author of Editing for Today’s Newsroom and of Writing as Craft and Magic. He is married to the writer Laura Sessions Stepp and has three children: Ashli, Amber and Jeff.

I was in the first group of copyeditors in 1968, a 19-year-old from a small town in South Carolina who had never taken an editing course, never been outside the Carolinas, and never been on an airplane till my flight to Philadelphia for training.

A professor at the University of South Carolina had recommended me for the program, and I think maybe the selectors were desperate because it was their first year. At any rate, it was a life-changing break for me, and I have never stopped appreciating it. Read More »

Past and current DJNF/Temple editing interns at the New York Times News Service: Katie Hotynski, left, 2007 DJNF intern; Claire Craft of Virginia Tech, 2008 intern, and Anita Patil, from the 2001 residency. Katie and Anita are both staff editors at The News Service.

In 1979, Judy Rotholz arrived at the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund editing residency at Temple University, Philadelphia, in a 350 Chevy Impala with Jersey plates, The Boss blaring from a cassette – and more than a few butterflies. She captured her emotions in an article in The Daily Receipt (a publication the interns produced start-to-finish during the residency) headlined: “Bittersweet impact becomes less bitter, more sweet for all.” Her article was typeset, but not digitally preserved.

Text and photo courtesy of Steve Costello, 1979 DJNF/Temple editing residency.

“CONGRATULATIONS. THE NEWSPAPER FUND HAS SELECTED YOU AS A PARTICIPANT IN OUR 1979 INTERNSHIP PROGRAM .” The Western Union Mailgram I received just before Christmas didn’t say much more.

Why didn’t it say “. a program which will change you, improve your skills,
heighten your awareness, increase your market value, perhaps change your
life”? Read More »

Joel Pisetzner is, without challenge, The Star-Ledger’s copy-editing guru. Every night, editors trample across the desk-studded maze of news room to his station, where he fields questions as diverse as, “What’d we decide to do about Matos-McGreevey?” (It’s Matos now), or “It is ‘the FARC’ or ‘FARC’?” He hasn’t made an official ruling on that one yet. Either way, what he says, goes. So, it’s an impressive grip on the paper’s style he exercises and maintains as contributor to the “Style Ledger,” the paper’s manual.

Pisetzner has won much acclaim for his headline writing, which includes the 2000 ACES award and several prizes from New Jersey’s SPJ chapter. He spent time writing as a sports and entertainment columnist before becoming a copy editor. He’s been mentor to several interns over the years, so he’s taking this year off. Cutline by Rachel Rosenthal a of Columbia University, a DJNF/Temple editing intern at The Star-Ledger in Newark, New Jersey.

There’s no getting around it: If you were really good with numbers,
you’d probably be helping balance the budget or launching rockets or
surveying “likely voters” – anything but wrestling with your tape recorder
and stylebook and editors. Read More »

Rachel Coker, a DJNF/Temple/ Ottaway intern in 1995, now works in higher education public information. This spring, her job at Binghamton University, Binghamton, New York, took her inside a clean room at the Center for Advanced Microelectronics Manufacturing as well as to a formal dinner featuring former Sen. Bill Bradley.

I was 14 when I knew I wanted to be a journalist. That was the year I met Terry Gross of NPR’s “Fresh Air” and Fredric Tulsky, a Philadelphia Inquirer reporter who had recently won the Pulitzer Prize. An Explorer Post program through the Boy Scouts provided these cool opportunities. Everyone but my mom, the one driving me to and from meetings at the local paper, was sure I’d eventually choose a different career path. Read More »

Claire Craft of Virginia Tech, left, and Katherine Santiago of Columbia University, DJNF/Temple editing interns at The New York Times, take in the view and the ambiance at street level in front of the NYT’s spacious new home in Midtown Manhattan. Perhaps the two are looking for an opportunity to begin their climb up the face of the building. 😉 Regardless, they would not be the first to do so. Stay tuned! Photo by Eba Hamid of Hampton University, also a DJNF/Temple editing intern at The New York Times.

Following is an update from Katherine Santiago as she writes about the importance of editing a story and looking for what isn’t there:

My schedule, this week, has changed. As I mentioned to you before, Charles
Knittle, the slot editor, has me working the same hours as he. My mentor is
Valencia Prashad.

I have been improving in finding big-picture catches lately. The other night
I edited a story on the Department of Transportation testing out a plan in
two neighborhoods to increase parking meter costs during peak-parking hours.
After reading the story once, I sat back and thought about who I’d heard Read More »

Emily Veach (DJNF ’04) is assistant news editor for The Wall Street Journal Asia in Hong Kong. Her first stint at the Journal was as a DJ intern in 2004. Next Emily spent six months copy editing at the Evansville (Ind.) Courier & Press, another six months as a copy reader for the Journal, then 2 ½ years at the Herald-Times of Bloomington, Ind., where she held the positions of copy editor, city beat reporter, hybrid editor-reporter and online editor. She just started a blog about her Hong Kong experience: http://www.emilyveach.com

Lessons learned along the way (courtesy of colleagues, bosses, friends and children):
— Live your life – work and otherwise – without regrets. If you’re presented with an opportunity, don’t be afraid to give it a whirl. The worst that could happen is that you goof it up.
— Don’t be afraid of the unknown, but know what you don’t know. This will make you seem a whole lot smarter, and you will feel more confident about yourself and your decisions. Read More »