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How do you deal with incompetent editors?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Voodoo Chile, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. Voodoo Chile

    Voodoo Chile Member

    I'm not new in the business, but I've run into a problem I've never had before and don't know how to deal with.
    I work with an editor who is new on the job (six months), doesn't get along with anyone in the shop and almost always puts more errors into a story than she takes out. She can't leave any story alone, and any idea that she didn't think of herself is automatically a bad one.
    Surely some of you have worked with obstinate pricks, so any advice on how to deal with this one is hugely appreciated.
  2. Diabeetus

    Diabeetus Active Member

    Try talking to her in a civil manner first.

    Ask her what her line of thought was in making changes. Explain things from your side that you don't agree with. Show her ways she can check things (good sites on the Internet, media guides, team stat sheets, etc.)

    If she still refuses, then lay into her ;)
  3. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    I trust you have a sports editor you could talk to about this problem?
  4. Jeremy Goodwin

    Jeremy Goodwin Active Member

    well, you could talk to her about your problems and work with her to reduce errors. Also make an effort to get her and your coworks to get along better. Maybe have some social event outside the office.
  5. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    Nah, why would you do that? It might foster communication.
    It's better to stew and develop ulceritis.
  6. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Also, be prepared for every mistake you've ever made that they've caught and fixed to be pointed out to your SE... If you're going to call them out, they're going to call you out. It's only fair...

    Unless it's a really big deal (errors being inserted) keep your mouth shut...
  7. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    The more a copy editor likes you, the less they do to your copy (usually).

    If you see a headline you like, point it out. A good way to do it is send out a department-wide email that says, "Hey, whoever came up with X headline did a great job..."

    Copy editors have a shit job. A simple compliment goes a long way.
  8. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    I agree with Diabeetus. Have you tried being diplomatic with her?

    Have a sit down meeting with her and let her know what your concerns are. Suggest ways she can improve the way she does things.

    We've all been new at one time or another. From the looks of things, even veteran writers or editors still have things they can learn so they can be better at their jobs.

    Hell, I've been a new editor who barely had reporting experience outside of college or a Web site when he became an editor. That said, I always want to improve and learn new and better ways of doing things. I've even told interns, "I expect you to tell me when I fuck up."

    Sounds like she tries to show she's done SOMETHING to every story. It's a tendency I've learned to fight. However, if part of her problem is that she's not willing to listen, then upper deck her.
  9. Voodoo Chile

    Voodoo Chile Member

    I work in a bureau, so I'm actually under this editor and not the sports editor, for some convoluted reason.
    Also, the biggest problem with her is not just that she does a terrible job of editing, which is undeniable, but that it's not possible to have a civil discussion about these things, because she immediately becomes hostile at anything she regards as questioning her authority or judgment.
  10. Jeremy Goodwin

    Jeremy Goodwin Active Member

    Maybe you could go to her editor and bring up the problems you have with her editing. She has to have some kind of editor or boss.
  11. jadzia

    jadzia New Member

    Are other people in your bureau having the same issues with this editor?
  12. Voodoo Chile

    Voodoo Chile Member

    Our bureau is three reporters and two photogs, and she cant get along with any of them.
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