As a regional editor for Patch, a national network of community news websites, I do a lot work that is managerial and administrative: From approving freelancer and contributor payments to managing my budget and conducting evaluations and reviews of my team members.
In between those tasks, I copy edit and regularly review the 12 Patch sites in my purview, checking for content and quality. I like to recognize great work by my editors and our contributors by sharing articles, photos and video on Twitter and Facebook. I also spend a good deal of time working to implement and track editorial initiatives. I meet regularly with my team members in one on one sessions as well as team gatherings.
So, in the midst of all of these activities (and many others), you may well ask (ask I did) where’s MY journalism? I realized, that unlike many other news managers, I actually have the luxury of creating content that speaks directly to my experiences and provides what I hope are real tips, tools and information to Patch users around Greater St. Louis.
I decided to embark on my own column, called the “The Virtual Life.” My tagline is “A Patch Regional Editor reflects on life and work in the digital age.” It’s twice-monthly so far, and appears on many of the Patch sites in my region. In addition, I’ve tried my hand at writing up many of our weekend planners, designed to let folks know what’s going on in their towns and nearby. I even wrote a column when I heard several Borders stores in our area would be closing.
Each time I sit down to write my column (after research, some field work, and interviews), I am reminded how much I love to write. And, picture how tickled I was when Clayton-Richmond Heights Patch Editor Nate Birt pointed out my latest column was among the most viewed on his site!
Note to other news managers: If you can, make time to do some journalism. It reminds you why you got into this industry in the first place.