Editor’s note: In order to shed some light on its day to day operations, The Aggie talked to its own Jon Gold this week. The managing editor is a senior political science and international relations double major.
1) What exactly does being managing editor entail?
The managing editor has many different roles at the Aggie. The most prominent aspect would be deciding the placement of stories on the front page of the paper. I hire writers for the paper and read over all articles and columns before a paper is actually produced. Also, as with all desk editors, I am part of the editorial board. We meet four times a week during the school year to collectively author the editorials that appear on the opinion page every Tuesday and Thursday.
2) So in terms of day to day tasks, what’s the first one you have to do once you walk in the door?
Once I get in, I turn on my computer. While I wait, I’ll pick up the dummy. This set of papers shows me where in the next day’s Aggie ads will be. I use this to decide which articles go on which pages, and where we can place color photos.
3) What’s the most difficult task you have to do?
Handling all of the personnel aspects of the Aggie. Although interviewing and hiring writers is very rewarding, it takes a fair amount of time. Other aspects of personnel, such as discipline, are rather unpleasant as well as time consuming.
4) What made you apply to be managing editor?
I wanted to have more of an impact at the Aggie. Previously, when I was working at night, I felt as though a lot of things were out of my control. Now, I feel like I have an impact on the day to day production of the Aggie, which is very satisfying.
5) One aspect of your job is the Daily Calendar. How does someone get an event into the Daily Calendar? What kind of information should they provide?
People can either stop by 25 Lower Freeborn and fill out a slip or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Providing the date, time location and a short description are the four things that are most useful. However, the more information, the better!
6) What would you say to people thinking about writing for The Aggie that are reading this interview?
Apply! We’re always looking for more writers, especially for the upcoming school year. I see the Aggie as a place for people to learn, so lacking experience is not an issue. Just stop by 25 Lower Freeborn and pick up an application, or e-mail email@example.com with any questions.
7) Your previous job at The Aggie was night editor, but I think more people would know you as Jon Gold the Weatherman. Where did you get your inspiration for the daily weather quips?
When I first took over the job, I was concerned that I wouldn’t have anything to say. The previous weatherperson suggested that I get a small notebook to jot ideas down. Although I did get one, most of my ideas were just inspired by the awkwardness that is my daily life.
8) What would the weather for tomorrow be, if you were still writing them?
Wow, what a question. Let’s go for: “Looks like the weather should be clear tomorrow, with a high of 90. Over the weekend, I saw a colony of 10 or 15 rabbits by Hickey Gym. Although I tried to catch them under my backpack, the little rascals moved much too quickly. I’ll catch you, you pesky wabbit!”
9) How is managing editor a position that will help you in future careers?
So many different skills come together in managing editor – personnel, editing, managing writers and editors – that I feel I’ve already learned a lot in my first six weeks! I think supervising the production of all news articles and working with people during stressful deadlines will be valuable things to experience.
10) So where do you get your news?
I read the New York Times daily. I’m especially a fan of Sunday’s Week in Review section. I also read the Sacramento Bee and San Francisco Chronicle online relatively frequently. For my bitter and sarcastic political news, I am an avid reader of wonkette.com. I think that about covers it.
Interview conducted by RICHARD PROCTER. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.