Professor Amy Elker took a group of Journalism majors and other curious students to Salem’s local newspaper, The Statesman Journal, on March 31. Elker originally planned the trip for her Print Journalism II class, but also recruited a few other students from the Journalism Workshop to observe the planning process for the weekend online and print issue.
The students were introduced to the production staff of the Statesman, including the executive director and the planning editor. They were able to sit in on a planning meeting and watched the staff go over placing stories, picking content for their readers and determining whether a story should publish online or in print.
Allison Ehrhardt said, “I loved being able to see what goes into planning out a newspaper. In journalism we obviously write a lot, but the production side of it is very different and takes a lot of time.”
Once the meeting was finished and the next week’s assignments had been planned, the Statesman editors answered a series of questions prepared by the students. Consumer experience director, Dann Miller, and planning director, Amy Read, shared the knowledge they have learned throughout their years in the journalism world.
Miller and Read were able to clearly express their passion for the newspaper industry as well as their readers. “You should always be willing to meet the reader where they are,” Miller said, “they will always change, but what we do matters so you have to keep adapting.”
As the students continued to come up with challenging questions about the medium of writing in a continuously changing society, the editors were gracious enough to answer all of their questions.
As the students left, Miller presented them with one last word of advice, “It’s important, as a journalist to be cynical, but that doesn’t mean you have to be a cynic,” he said. “Sometimes, things are just good. Don’t forget that,”