Working on my article with iGeneration Youth taught me so much about the publishing process that I thought I knew all about already.
Most importantly, I learned that while edits can be done in waves, each after receiving a new set of suggestions, it’s more effective when a writer and editor can work simultaneously on a piece. Editing should be a conversation between the writer and editor, not a unilateral decision. As an editor of my high school’s newspaper and magazine, I usually send revisions to writers to work on during their own time, rarely editing with them at the same time. I’m excited to take this new idea back to my school come September.
At first, making edits while my editor was watching on the document was stressful, but it ended up being an exhilarating and helpful experience. It showed me how time is a critical factor in journalism and how exciting that pressure can be! It was also great knowing that I could comment a question for Coral and have aid right away, which accelerated the completion of my story.
I also learned that you can never assume that your readers understand everything that you do. After spending time on one piece, you’re likely to become proficient in that topic and fluent in its terminology. It’s easy to glaze over small details because you’ve been speaking to expert sources who understand them. When I received my first round of edits from Coral, I realized that I hadn’t explained some phrases or ideas that I thought were self-explanatory. At first, I didn’t know if being so specific was necessary, but upon reading the final version, I see that all the details enhanced my piece and produced a much more thorough coverage. Sometimes those seemingly minor details are what your readers need to fully understand not only the content, but also its importance and call to action.
Lastly, I would like to thank iGeneration Youth and Coral for a wonderful experience and for all the support. Now I’m even more excited to pursue a career in journalism and environmental activism.
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