At the career fair this week, I found myself explaining my job to recruiters, which is like summarizing this blog into a few sentences under a lot of pressure.
After a short line about how much I hate doing payroll, I explain my job as managing editor in two parts: first as the managing half, then as the editor half.
Putting on my managing hat, I say that we owe the journalism students at UF whatever experiences they can’t get out of the journalism school. With people like Pat Thornton, a new media advocate, painting j-schools as obsolete — whether or not that’s true — we have a chance to help supplement UF undergraduates’ journalism education. We shouldn’t take that responsibility lightly. The Alligator needs to fully use its online and print departments to give students firsthand experience they won’t get in class.
As editor, I say we owe the UF community information. After all, that’s the Alligator’s tagline: “We inform. You decide.” I used the recent Student Government elections as an example of how we do that at the Alligator and why it matters. I was part of an organization that pushed more than 10,000 students toward the polls for a Student Government election. As an editor, I have an impact on daily events and on how the people who read our paper respond to the news around them. I can’t take that responsibility lightly, either.
Hopefully, that explanation was good enough for the recruiters.