Archive for May 7th, 2013

This continues a series on advice for new top editors in Digital First Media newsrooms.

You’re not perfect. You know it and your staff knows it. Admitting your own errors (and apologizing for them, if an apology is due) builds credibility with your staff, especially if you’re going to be critical of them.

That workshop on leads that were too long (discussed in the previous post) started with a lead of mine that was too long. I made some fun of my own work (self-deprecating humor is an important management tool), and then turned to staff-written leads and what they needed to do to start writing tighter, better-focused leads.

Few things annoy journalists (who can be tough critics) more than editors who think they’re always right. Admitting an error to the staff underscores that you’re all learning together. If you’re not good at tweeting or editing video, admit that to a staff member who is good and ask for some coaching. Or ask the staff member to lead a workshop (and round up some other staff members who need to work on that skill to join you). (more…)

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