Initially, editing someone’s paper was odd. I had only ever been edited, not the editor. I now understand that it isn’t as much of marking up the paper, as to helping people excel and feel happy about their work. Correcting grammar or AP Style has been something that is always in the back of my mind, I have learned the skill of communicating with staff members so I edit to get better, instead of editing simply to change.
It always has been difficult for me to accept any sort of help. I am a very independent person. Now being in a leadership and editor position, I always edit with caution so my staff members or co-editors don’t feel as if I am putting their work down. I started my high school writing career in a creative writing class. When changing gears to journalism writing I have realized although we make our stories creative, being meticulous and careful with word choice, flow and tone is everything.
Thanks to my adviser and past MV Media editors, I have learned a lot about the process of editing. Beyond my typical English grammatical habits, I can notice AP Style, Oxford commas and realize that taking the time to show others how they can improve will help them the way I was helped in the past.
Below I've attached print, video, photo, social media and design examples of editing. Whether it be my personal work or a staff members, I know there are always positive improvements to be made.
For our newsmagazine, we included profiles on students who did something out of the ordinary. Molly Phelan wrote about a family-run service company in Nicaragua. She is a new staff member who needed encouragement, confidence and some simple edits.
After Molly made the edits, we published it in our second issue of the newsmagazine. The final copy is below.
// MOLLY PHELAN//
Ask any teenager what they do in the summertime and most will have a generic answer such as, "I go to the pool and hang out with my friends", or "I sit at home and watch Netflix". However, senior Jaelyn Hendren goes to Nicaragua every year to help with Project El Crucero. "I've been going to Nicaragua every year since I was 7 and we usually go down for about a week," Hendren said. Project El Crucero is a group of people that help out at a medical and dental clinic in El Crucero, Nicaragua called The Susie Syke Clinic. “When I'm there we usually help run the feeding program or organize different projects based on what the need is at the time,” Hendren explains. The feeding projects are part of a program that serves approximately 2,400 hot meals each year. Meals are served to 60 children per week. Hendren likes to help out around as much as she can. Since She has been going for so long, Hendren knows how to do most of the tasks she gets assigned and can help others who aren't as experienced as her. She likes to do different events and get as involved as she can so that her time there is worth it. "We also do a basket walk where we go around the village and give the family's baskets of basic household necessities like food and soap," Hendren said. "We like to try to have as much fun as possible while helping out the village and the kids in it." Hendren and her family, along with many other friends and members of their church, go to Nicaragua every year, making a huge difference in their lives and leaving an enormous impact on the kids and village of El Crucero.
One of the staff members I oversee has gotten into writing movie reviews. Victoria Coffman wrote a thoughtful and simple review on The Greatest Showman. After some simple suggestions, I published her article on VistaNow.org.
After Victoria made the small edits, I published her second movie review. The final copy is below.
The Greatest Showman - Review
Genre: Drama, Musical
Director: Michael Gracey
Starring: Hugh Jackman
Co-starring: Michelle Williams, Zac Efron, Zendaya
Release Date: Dec. 20, 2017
“The Greatest Showman” features Hugh Jackman as, infamously known American businessman and showman, P.T. Barnum. The movie displays a fictional story of a man who was brought up penniless in the streets and who fell in love with a wealthy man’s daughter, played by Michelle Williams. They write back and forth for years until the day that he asked for her hand in marriage. The two run off into the city but after two daughters, life is not how Barnum was hoping it would end up. He then combines his inspiration and imagination by buying an old, wax museum, turning into a gathering for people of all oddities, extremities, and features. Giant men, bearded ladies, colored trapeze artists, and more join P.T. Barnum’s circus as they put on their shows that fascinate and bewilder the public.
However, the circus quickly corrupted P.T. Barnum as his focus shifted off creating better lives for his family to seeking fame and fortune. His greed leads him to bringing Britain’s most renowned singer Jenny Lind, played by Rebecca Ferguson, back to America to tour with him, shutting out his circus of outcasts in the face of better opportunities.
During the tour, Lind and Barnum’s relationship ends poorly, almost ending the relationship with his wife as well. Since his leaving, a growth of mobs had terrorized the circus and as Barnum returns, his building is set aflame with many of his people barely escaping. After nearly losing his family and his circus, he decides to rebuild and recreate the glory of when he started and his only hope was helping his family and making others happy. The story concludes with Barnum giving his circus what they deserve and handing the show off to his partner Phillip Carlyle, played by Zac Efron, so he may return to his family.
What parents need to know:
The Greatest Showman is a movie suitable for all ages and provides many relatable aspects and important lessons. One of the biggest lessons to take away is to be yourself; that it is okay to be different and it should be celebrated. This is taught by Barnum bringing together outcasts, shamed into hiding themselves from the public; he taught them to step into the light for who they were and the movie featured a song sung by the circus titled, “This Is Me.” Another major lesson the movie portrayed is how easily one can become focused on the wrong things for the wrong reasons. In the movie, Barnum is easily attracted by fame and fortune, taking his eyes off of the truly important thing in his life: his family. It proves this lesson after Barnum’s life nearly crumbles to the ground from his greed, but also shows that wrongs can be made right. It is a story of drama, love, family, acceptance, and most importantly, a “celebration of humanity” than any person can learn from and enjoy. “This was a pretty clean movie that our whole family was able to enjoy together. It really opens up the conversation with kids about treating people as people and not mistreating someone simply bc of what they look like,” Becky G., a parent reviewer on “Common Sense Media”, wrote.
I have used Final Cut Pro to create many videos. The process of editing videos was difficult at first, I didn't have any instruction before beginning with the application. A large portion of the editing process was very tedious, splicing long video clips into short sections and overlaying music and text. The videos I have edited are under my "Multimedia and Broadcast" tab.
Every week, MV Media staff members are required to have "Weekly Content". A majority of the staff members like posting the day-to-day life of Vista students, so I edit several Instagram posts each week. Our student-led instagram account is Vista_Now.
While I feel touching up every photo is a good idea, I have gotten accustomed to the camera settings well enough to not need Photoshop too much. I often have several photos open at one time, editing quickly to get a photo gallery posted on our website as soon as possible. During major events like Wish Week, we post galleries directly after an event. Staff members who don't have the ability to edit their photos at home, typically give me their SD cards so our content is updated as soon as possible.
In the design process, there are many trial runs to get to the finished version. Below I've attached my personal editing process for how my designs have progressed through the process.
The first picture is the first copy of the news magazine cover I designed for our Wish Week issue. After some thought, I changed the colors around to become more visual appealing. Then, after talking to Gabby, the Wish Kid, she wanted me to add pink to the cover. This was our final cover for the third issue of the Eagle Eye. The gallery has the editing process for the cover.
As I previously stated, it took our program a long time to decide on a yearbook theme. Attached is my initial idea for the end sheet. I used VCR font and polaroids because the editors were learning towards a "Rewind" theme. After some consideration, I edited to bring color and information to the spread. The final version of our end sheet for the 2018 Aerie yearbook is the following picture.