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A Mission Statement To My ME

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by MyAlterEgo, Jun 26, 2007.

  1. MyAlterEgo

    MyAlterEgo New Member

    My sports ed. is a difficult man to deal with. He's a great editor in terms of editing, organization, efficiency. He's not too personable. He's been in the biz for ages and it shows in his approach to coverage.

    I'm relatively young, relatively new, but plenty experienced. I want to stay in this biz for the rest of my working life. I'm smart enough to know that times, they are a changin'. The web must be embraced. My ME talks about it. Our city editor was to have met with the sports dept. a while back about using the net to our advantage. It hasn't happened yet. It's been weeks.

    We have three major or main "beats" or "teams" in our city (this is a mid-sized daily, circulation 20K). One of the beats we cover in our paper and with a blog. The others are paper only. I fear some fan(s) or wannabe journalist(s) may soon realize we only use the newspaper to cover the other two and launch blogs of their our.

    I also caught flack from a "fringe sport" coach last night, complaining we cover one team too much. But that team drew hundreds of fans on a Tuesday night last week. His team drew 11 fans last night. I counted. This leads me to believe we're spending too much time at sports that aren't read much in the paper.

    I'm not sure I want to one day be an editor, but I am sure I want to stay where I'm at for a while.

    My question is this: Should I raise my concerns with my ME in the form of a mission statement/memo? I'm not wanting this to lessen my workload, make my job easier, become lazier. I'm want to make our newspaper better, provide better coverage, ensure we are the first and only (or at least best) source for news regarding our top three beats.

    I'm a firm believer the crowds, fans, reaction dictates which sports "deserve" more in-depth coverage.

    The problem is my SE believes in quantity, not quality. He also tries to please all the people all the time, often giving the squeaky wheel the grease.

    I've been in the biz long enough to want changes; changes I think newspapers need. I just want my thoughts in the hands of those that can make the changes. My SE is not one willing or wanting to make the changes. Plus, he's in the union, like me, so he's not technically my supervisor. So, that said, am I dick going over his head to the ME?

    This has been eating at me for months now.

    As you've likely guessed, one beat is a college - mainly football and basketball. So I'd like to get something out there before the training camps kick off in August.

    Thoughts? Advice on how to handle this? Am I wrong to want to try and make changes or suggestions?

    I'm frustrated.
  2. 21

    21 Well-Known Member

    Dear Jerry McGuire, How long have you worked there, and please fix your typos before someone else hammers you for it.
  3. MyAlterEgo

    MyAlterEgo New Member

    Thanks for the insult and advice.
  4. 21

    21 Well-Known Member

    It wasn't an insult.
  5. MonitorLizard

    MonitorLizard Member

    Have you discussed this with your SE, or are you going to go over his head right off the bat? Because that strikes me as incredibly unwise, particularly if you're relatively new. Even if your SE shoots you down, at least talk to him first to cover your ass. And he may not technically be your supervisor, but that distinction is going to be lost on a lot of people when you go behind his back.
  6. MyAlterEgo

    MyAlterEgo New Member


    Been here a year. Sorry, I took your Jerry M. line too seriously. But that's who I feel like and that's what I'm worried about.


    I haven't discussed it directly with the SE. But he's brushed off - sometimes in front of me - every attempt by management to "use the net" and "change focus." His reactions to others, their suggestions, and his ageless "routine" of things should be done don't make him approachable at all on this subject; my fellow sports reporters have tried.

    I think he thinks it would mean more work for him. I also think he, like many over the age of 55, fear change. Which is why he skirts the issue all the time.

    I was thinking of sending my thoughts to all three (city editor, ME and SE) at once.
  7. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    Mr. Ego:

    First of all, there are a number of us over-55 editors/mid-level managers who have no fear of change, who actually work with our internet people to find better ways to present things on the net and better ways to coordinate web product and print product so that we all might eventually benefit. Stop painting people with a broad brush becuase of your perception of why your SE is the way he is.

    So, you've been there a year and you're going to write a mission statement for the department and go over your immediate supervisor's head to the ME with it?

    I guess you aren't planning on making it to two years there.
  8. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    You don't go over his head. You don't think you can work with him? Go elsewhere, it's OK, or wait him out. And it's not your place to submit a mission statement. Maybe you can keep one in your back pocket if you're up for a promotion, but that's it.
  9. BillyT

    BillyT Active Member

    I think he thinks it would mean more work for him. I also think he, like many over the age of 55, fear change. Which is why he skirts the issue all the time.

    All stereotypes are wrong.
  10. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    So are all generalizations, including this one.
  11. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    Don't do it. Regardless of your experience, you are still young. You will look back on this in five years and realize how dumb you are now.

    That's not an insult. We've all been there.
  12. Clerk Typist

    Clerk Typist Guest

    The lad said "many," not all.
    And he's right.
    Same goes for those under 55. And 45. And 35.
    A habit is the most difficult thing to change.
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