Editor in Brief: 2 Years 4 Lessons
On the surface, the process is simple: brainstorm, write, illustrate, edit, edit again, send, print, repeat. Behind the scenes, it is much more complicated. I have been with El Ciento-Siete through its ups and downs, and had we not encountered any problems throughout the process, our magazine would have never evolved into what it is today, and neither would we. Being involved in this project taught me countless lessons, some, if not most, I learned the hard way. Here are the four that impacted me the most.
1. There are always stories worth telling
As journalists, it is our responsibility to cover the good, the bad, and the ugly of our community in an honest matter. The variety of stories that emerged while hunting for news to report, issues to investigate, or madreadas to narrate, made it hard to choose what to write about. It also made me aware of how exceptional this school and its students are. However, there is no denying that there is always room for improvement, and acknowledging this is the first step towards making a change.
2. Good intentions can’t be put into writing
After publishing a special called “What Guys Look for in Girls and Girls in Guys” last February, I learned that even the most benign of articles can be taken the wrong way. This is why it is crucial to always be respectful, objective, and conscious of all points of view to prevent negative reactions.
3. La verdad no peca pero incomoda
A wide range of controversial topics has been covered in our magazine, from cheating allegations, to the cost of our extravagant posadas, to the same-sex marriage at the PTA scandal, to our cafeteria. Laborious negotiation processes have had to take place prior to publishing certain articles. As editor, I had to learn when to yield and when to fight. Despite the obstacles in the process of publishing these and the backlash once public, the truth is always worth the trouble.
#3. There will always bee missteaks
As Chief Editor, nothing frustrated me more than seeing a misspelled word, a badly cropped ad, or a wrong page number on one of the already-distributed copies of the magazine, but nothing can be done about these errors. As in life, it is simply easier to accept what we cannot change, whilst letting our mistakes be lessons on our pursuit of constant self-improvement.