Going into the 2015 - 2016 school year I am applying to be Co-Editor in Chief with Amanda Tu. This coming year will be the third year I have served on the RedEye staff.
Amanda and I should be Co-Editors in Chief due to the fact that we have exhibited our ability to work well together and with others, that we, combined, have shown our proficiency in all mediums necessary for a multimedia website, and that we are the only third-year returning staff members who have had editorial positions in which we were responsible for editing and overseeing other staffers’ content on a regular basis. The best examples of our ability to collaborate, generate multimedia content and organize others include the 2014 Idea Festival coverage, the first pep rally of the year, and the recent article titled “Senate abandons plan for $3.3 billion bond to support teacher pension system.”
Independently from my own agenda, I firmly believe that one of the leaders of RedEye should be proficient in and devoted to multimedia coverage. Despite the title of our block and our specific medium, many articles are published on the site with no multimedia content and, at least in recent years, our leaders have been more practiced in writing skills than photography or video. I believe that a more multimedia-oriented editorial board will lead to a more attractive, accessible, and well-attended site.
Throughout the course of my sophomore and junior years I have produced upwards of sixty articles, spanning over all forms of multimedia including photography, interactive designs, writing, and primarily audio and video. During my sophomore year I started multiple series on RedEye including Whiteboard Editorials, Think Outside The Magnet, Enrichments, and Synapse, which has since won the Columbia Scholastic Press Association’s Gold Circle for “Best Podcast.” (Episode 5 - Shooting the Messenger; see next paragraph) During the summer in between my sophomore and junior year, I practiced both videography and writing and was published on the renowned comedy website CollegeHumor. While serving as Video Editor during my junior year, I bottom-lined two of the three most visited articles on the site, including the breaking “Purge hoax” coverage. Although this was a team effort, I devoted time after school to organizing multimedia content, follow-up posts, and backup procedures (such as mirroring the article with a public Google Document when the site was flooded with traffic).
The best examples of my ability to use multimedia to tell complex and sensitive stories include my multiple coverages of Ferguson, Missouri. Soon after the shooting of Michael Brown, I organized the staff of Synapse to produce a Ferguson-themed episode, which we localized by interviewing student journalists and using their insights to tell this story through a unique lens. Then, in November I went to the location of the initial shooting and following riots and produced a ten minute long audio slideshow. Overall, my coverage of Ferguson included video, audio, photography, and writing, marked me as one of two journalists from Kentucky to visit Ferguson, and won the CSPA Gold Circle for “Best Podcast.”
Throughout the course of my junior year I excelled in two staffs while organizing my own smaller staff to consistently produce podcasts, a medium new to the magnet. While also serving as Technical Director and producing stories for Manual AM, I edited all video content on RedEye and organized thorough, multimedia coverage of important events such as the city-wide Idea Fest and the first pep rally of the year. For Idea Fest coverage, Amanda and I designated certain staffers to cover different days, eventually combining the coverage into a complete day-by-day account of the event. The final article included videography, photography, audio and an interactive timeline. I also assisted staff writer Patrick Smalley in the article titled “Malaysian political cartoonist visits Manual,” which eventually won CSPA’s second place Gold Circle award for “Interactive graphics and design.”
While on RedEye, I have been mindful of my weaknesses on staff and have worked towards improving in these areas. Though I focused on journalistic videography, I produced content in many different categories taking many different forms during my sophomore year: I published both broadcast-style and creative videography (using primitive video editing software), hard news stories, and audio-based articles throughout the year. When I was chosen to be the Video Editor for the 2014 - 2015 year, I decided to spend the summer becoming proficient in more advanced video editors like Adobe Premiere Pro. During this summer I published at least one video a week on my YouTube channel, and by the next school year I was prepared to instruct and criticize staffers in their videography production as needed.
While serving as Video Editor I continued to produce content containing other media including photography, design, audio, and writing - the medium which I have practiced the least. Whenever I have an opportunity to write a short article to accompany multimedia content, I make sure to be with my editor in order to be able to identify and resolve issues in the future.
Furthermore, throughout my experiences both on the RedEye staff and while leading my own staff of Synapse I have identified my major weaknesses in leadership and collaboration. While my experience as Executive Producer of Synapse has shown me that I am able to lead a staff to consistently meet deadlines and resolve minor conflicts in the workplace, there are some aspects to leadership (such as delegating while under stress) that I feel will both be solved by leading with a partner and by taking the Editorial Leadership class, which I plan to do.
While I have been able to effectively manage my time on two J&C staffs this year, I am aware of the challenge I am asking to take on, and I am already committed to prioritizing my responsibilities in Redeye. I am intentionally not applying for a high editorial position in Manual AM because I believe that I can best maximize my time developing Redeye’s long-term mission and vision.
I have had extensive experience resolving conflicts among my peers. As Executive Producer of my own publication, Synapse, I have been solely responsible for managing interpersonal conflicts on staff, often without the assistance of an adult advisor.
Due to my experience and success in effectively organizing and improving video content on the RedEye site, directing coverage of a variety of events, and leading a staff to consistently meet deadlines, I would like to serve as Co-Editor in Chief, with my second and third choices being Multimedia Director and Video Editor (respectively).