The job of putting out a student media web site requires different work from different editors and staff members, with each contributing to a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. What follows are the job descriptions at the SM.
- All editors of the SM are expected to maintain at least a 2.5 GPA. Candidates for editor positions for the following semester will be required to show that they have attained a 2.5 GPA for at least the prior semester and may be asked to show more than one semester of grades in order to be considered for a staff position. Additionally, all staff members agree to have their mid-term deficiency notices forwarded to the adviser of the SM.
- Working for the SM is a privilege that is contingent on academic performance. Any staffer with more than one deficiency may be suspended and may lose his or her tuition grant for the remainder of the semester. This suspension will be at the discretion of the adviser, in consultation with the Editor- in-Chief, and is not appealable.
Editor-In-Chief: Holds final responsibility for all decisions related to editorial content, design, layout and is responsible for managing the SM.
The Editor-in-Chief will:
- supervise all section editors and their staffs and assist section editors in preparing edition and semester budgets and conceptualizing, assigning and editing stories.
- conduct the editor meetings.
- delegate responsibilities and see that tasks are completed.
- meet regularly with Adviser to discuss progress, needs, problems, budgets, training, etc.
- conduct a final edit of each story, photo, graphic, illustration, headline and cutline to ensure all meet the SM’s guidelines and for style and content.
- proofread and sign off on all pages before they are sent to the printer.
- take story ideas, tips and concerns and respond quickly and efficiently.
- lead staff by: thinking creatively with story assignments and projects; praising and motivating frequently; criticizing gently and respectfully; guiding by example in writing and managing.
- coordinate with section editors to produce special editions, themed editions and to ensure that all section budgets, for each edition and for the semester, are well thought-out and take advantage of opportunities to work across sections for an overall better student media.
- hold office hours six hours a week.
- layout the front page and the editorial and op-ed pages of the print edition.
- create the pagination/layout for each edition.
The Managing Editor: Is an add-on role undertaken by a section editor each semester. In addition to his or her section editor duties, the Managing Editor will report to the Editor-in-Chief. Each will:
- assign pertinent stories to staff and freelance writers.
- recruit, train, coach and mentor staff and freelance writers in all steps of preparing stories.
- edit articles and make the necessary changes and corrections, working with the writers to fill holes and correct style errors.
- edit stories with writers in person, or over the phone with both editor and writer looking at the story.
- consults with all writers before changing anything in the story. This includes, but is not limited to leads, grammar, spelling, names, and headlines. Editors should avoid rewriting stories as this is not editing.
- copyedit final versions before forwarding the edited stories to the Editor in Chief.
- layout their respective section and work with the graphic designer to ensure a modular and visually pleasing section.
- ensure that articles comply with AP style guidelines and Buccaneer policies.
- ensure that story and layout deadlines are met.
- prepare an editorial calendar of stories and a story budget for each edition and for the semester, in consultation with the EIC.
- communicate to the Photo Editor to ensure photos are assigned for each story before photo deadlines.
- gather writer invoices and submit them to the adviser the week after publication and inform writers of the meeting at which they will be paid.
- prepare one item of content for each edition. These can include photo essays, columns, editorials, articles, calendars of upcoming events, photo polls, news briefs columns and a variety of other types of content.
- attend all editors meetings and hold office hours for four hours a week, during which time the editors are responsible for answering the phones, taking and forwarding messages, liaising with writers, and assisting in the maintenance of the SM email account.
- assist the Editor-in-Chief in the daily and weekly tasks necessary to put out the student media.
- be available to take over in the event the Editor-in-Chief is unable to complete his or her duties, including conducting meetings and managing the budget.
- serves as a liaison between the Editor-in-Chief and editors, photographers, and interested writers.
- manages and supervises subordinate staff.
- assists in the preparation and management of the budget.
Section Editors (A&E, News, and Sports):
- are responsible for the stories and layout of their own section.
- must hold at least scheduled four weekly office hours between 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Failure to complete is grounds for disciplinary action. The office hours are negotiable; the department is working on securing a space for the SM operations and an office for the yearbook and student media web site editors.
- assigns stories within section including contracts and invoices.
- responsible for editing stories in section and communicating with freelancers.
- responsible for laying out section pages.
The Photo Editor:
- is responsible for the photos that appear in the student media, and on social media and the website.
- monitors story budgets, looking for photo opportunities.
- trains, coaches and mentors new photographers in the craft of photography.
- assigns photographers to events and for stories as needed.
- crops, scans, tones and chooses the best photos for print.
- communicates with section editors about photos, particularly about photos that may be good enough to run on the front and should be considered for a writer assignment.
- follows up with photographers to make sure that everything is running smoothly and that photos will be turned in on time.
- ensures that all photos meet the SM guidelines and that news photos are not altered or posed.
- gathers photographer invoices and submits them to the adviser the week after publication and informs the photographers of the meeting at which they will be paid.
- maintains a monthly and semester-long photo budget and a calendar of anticipated photo essays and packages, in consultation with the EIC and other editors.
- shoots photos for every edition.
- attends all editor meetings.
- holds office hours for four hours a week, assisting in answering the phones, taking and forwarding messages and the maintenance of the SM email account.
The Web Editor: • is responsible for the SM's website.
- ensures that the current edition of the SM is online the day of publication at or before noon and the prior edition is archived on the site.
- coordinates with section editors and the Editor-in-Chief to create unique web content in coordination with print content.
- reviews all pages that have been uploaded and checks content accuracy, site function, and correct style.
- attends all editor meetings.
- upload and delegate upload duties to web developers for new daily content on website.
- meets with web developers as necessary.
- holds office hours for four hours a week, answering the phones, taking and forwarding messages and assisting in the maintenance of the SM email account.
The Graphic Designer (If needed) :
- is responsible for producing infographics and unique and visually interesting layouts for each edition.
- coordinates with section editors and the Editor-in-Chief to decide what stories merit graphics prior to layout deadline.
- is responsible for designing those graphics.
- is responsible for working with the ad manager to design ads and put together spec ads.
- provides section-level editors and EIC copies of final pages and gets EIC approval on all pages.
- attends all editors meetings.
- holds office hours for two hours a week.
The Copy Editor:
- is responsible for reading every word that the SM publishes before the student media is printed, including stories, photo cutlines, headlines and information included in graphics.
- reads copy once to grasp meaning and to see if the story raises unanswered questions.
- corrects errors in fact.
- sees that explanations are adequate.
- examines copy for carelessness when involving potential libel.
- sees that the story is interesting and easy to read.
- checks spelling of all names and student names in BucWis search.
- checks for plagiarism.
- checks that stories follow AP style and the SM policies and style.
- nightly edits of updates for web stories.
- holds four office hours per week.
The Business Manager, if needed: • sells advertisements to businesses, delivering those ads in a print-ready format by the advertising deadline, after first getting approval for all ads from the adviser.
- meets monthly quota set by faculty adviser in the beginning of the semester.
- prepares and delivers timely invoices to advertisers, including sending tear-sheets, within one week of publication.
- assigns ad sale reps to sell ads to businesses.
- recruits new ad sales reps.
- reviews and approves ads submitted by ad reps, ensuring that all ads comply with the SM’s ad policies.
- prepares and maintains rate cards.
- keeps the monthly editorial budget updated with ads that have been sold, as they have been sold.
- coordinates with the Graphic Designer for any ads that must be designed in-hours.
- attends the editors’ meeting and holds office hours for four hours a week, answering the phones, taking and forwarding messages and assisting in the maintenance of the SM email account.
- holds four office hours per week between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
- Advertising Business Practices Guide, if needed: The business manager should begin selling ads at least a few weeks before the semester begins. Get started by creating a list of advertising prospects, visiting businesses, and making calls to the businesses as well as the third-party agencies.
Don’t forget to:
- review the SM rate card each semester and make updates.
- prepare a professional sales pitch.
- keep a record of each sale and each contact in salesforce.com.
- maintain clear, organized files on clients in salesforce and help ad reps do the same.
- maintain the SM’s profile up to date in the online system to ensure that the SM receives national ads in a timely fashion.
- Business, if needed:
- Work closely with the SM adviser to prepare the bills every month. Prepare an invoice for the customer. In the envelope, include a “tear sheet,” an actual page from the student media web site which carried the customer’s ad. Mail the bills promptly after publication is printed
- Payment should be received within 30 days. If no payment has been received, send another invoice. If accounts are delinquent for more than 60 days, do not allow these customers to advertise until they have paid up. Send an “overdue” invoice with a letter requesting payment
- Work with the adviser to maintain accurate records of all accounts in salesforce. Review the computer accounts against your student media files for accuracy and completeness. This is essential for good customer service.
Additional positions may be added to the editorial staff as needed in the beginning of each semester. Some examples are: Assistant Editors, Web Developers and Special Projects.
- Staff Writer: Is a contributing writer for the overall production of the SM articles and is responsible for:
- reporting at least five stories throughout the semester.
- covering a beat for the SM.
- attending all editors meetings.
- The Faculty Adviser: • Is a coach and mentor available to assist and guide the student editors and writers, consulting on matters of ethics, style and content as well as on management issues. The adviser may select stories that will run in the student media or provide a final edit of any stories. The adviser may exercise prior review over the SM. The adviser is available, at the request of staff or editors, to review any content and provide advice or guidance. HOWEVER, FOR THE 2020 SEMESTER, THE ADVISERS WILL REVIEW ALL COPY. THIS POLICY MAY BECOME THE POLICY FOR STUDENT MEDIA.
- Will assist students in mediating management disputes, but will not be an arbiter or in any way undermine the ultimate authority of the Editor-in-Chief or the section level editors. This approach is fluid for the fall 2020 semester.
- Attends editor and staff meetings but participates only in an advisory role and does not run the meetings. The adviser doesn’t have an office or hold office hours, but will be available to the student editors via phone and email throughout the semester and meets with editors and writers one-on-one and in groups as needed.
- Controls the SM budget, if one exists, and has final say over expenditures, but will make those decisions in consultation with the editors.
- The adviser hires the editor-in-chief and helps her or him assemble a team of editors. This policy is subject to change.
- Is the SM liaison to IT and the administration and is responsible for assisting the student media web site staff in technical and equipment issues, but is in no way a barrier between the student media web site staff and the administration. The adviser may be called on to speak with other faculty and staff members about the student media web site or specific stories, but will always make it clear that editorial decisions are made by the student editors and refer all concerns to the student editors. The adviser will assist as needed in staff recruitment. HOWEVER, THIS POLICY MAY CHANGE BE ALTERED AT ANY TIME.
- Teaches the various courses in the communication program such as journalism classes. The adviser will edit stories submitted by class students according to those deadlines in an effort to train future writers and editors in the basics of journalism writing and reporting. This helps ensure that the SM has a steady flow of new talent. The student editors will do a final edit of all stories before they run in the student media and the student editors hold the ultimate responsibility for the content of the student media, including all stories that come from classes taught by the adviser or by any other journalism professors.