Journalist of the Year Portfolio




One of my primary roles as editor-in-chief is to hold the content of both The ReMarker and Focus Magazine to the highest standards. Before shipping pages to the printer, stories go through several sets of eyes. Each story must be accurately fact checked and compliant with both the AP style and our unique style adaptations at The ReMarker. Because of this, I've learned to have full mastery of our rules and have developed a keen "editor's eye."

However, editing goes beyond the details. With every story, I also analyze the structure, accessibility and overall angle provided by the journalist. By doing this, each stroke of the red pen improves fundamental story quality and helps staff writers grow. The process, as it should be, is extensive. On this page, you will find examples of how staff members go through that process for both the newspaper and magazine — and how I try to guide readers to improve our content at its core.

the basics

I direct my staff to be keenly aware of consistency in style rules and mechanics that make it through our editing process. We have two guidelines for staff members to use as they prepare their stories for publication. Here's a look at the specific style guidelines used by The ReMarker and Focus Magazine.

  • For school specific style usage, I have prepared a document entitled, "Style rules: St. Mark's journalism." This sheet, which is posted in our newsroom and given to all writers, provides a quick read for common style questions that are specific to our school community. Here, staff members can find everything from how to designate alumni graduation years to referencing school departments, from capitalization for coaches to names of school divisions. Click below to enlarge.
  • Of course, like newsrooms all across the nation, our staff uses The AP Stylebook as the final say for all style and editing decisions. An essential for any editing session, The AP Stylebook always sits next to me when editing stories. In our school's publications suite, more than 25 copies of the most recent edition are readily accessible in shelves in the conference room and production room. Click below to enlarge.

The pen: round one

On story deadline days, we gather stories in the morning and begin first-round edits throughout the day. Copy editors and editorial board members all grab pens and spend hours analyzing what's been turned in — constructively criticizing stories' word choice, grammar, accuracy of information, punctuation, spelling, syntax, structure or anything else that will help coach writers and improve our content. For both the newspaper and magazine, I review multiple stories on the first round and follow up with writers to make sure corrections have been made.

The interactive images below show some examples of the typical edits I will make for stories. Hover over the dots to see my reasoning behind the various edits.

The edits above were made soon after I gave the paper back, and the story's overall direction improved significantly. Below is an image of how the final version of the story was packaged. Click to enlarge.

the page: final eyes

After design week, the newspaper or magazine is nearing its finish. However, on the tail of every design week, it's tradition to meet at school for what we call "Work Saturday." This is an entire day we've dedicated in our cycle to touch-ups and last minute edits before pages are complete and shipped for publication. Before staff members arrive, I print out every page of the publication and lay them across a large conference table for group editing. At this point, stories have already been through multiple sets of eyes, so when it comes to editing pages, we're able to evaluate the details — and the aesthetics — of the content within the lager context of the publication as a whole.

Hover over the dots on the interactive image below to display some of my edits during the page editing process for the most recent issue of The ReMarker.