Features | So you want to be a Daily editor

You’re a sharp young thing, a little bored in class and eager to spread your fledgling journalistic wings. What to do? Why, become an editor at The McGill Daily, of course! Because we hope you’re interested in joining the non-hierarchical team, here’s a handy-dandy guide to how to become a Daily editor, how the election process works, and what the different positions involve. This is intended only as a brief introduction, so to learn more email coordinating@mcgilldaily.com, or swing by our office (room B-24, in the Shatner basement) to talk to an editor.

The Basics

Unlike most student newspapers, our editors are elected by Daily staff rather than hired by a committee. And to run for an editorial position, or to vote in the election, you must be Daily staff.

To be Daily staff, you must have written six articles, taken six photos, drawn six graphics, written two features, come in for six production nights, or some combination thereof. Even if you’re not staff yet, you’ve still got time before the election – email an editor to get involved.

Where and When

The Daily requires all editorial candidates to submit a one-page application. It can be anything you want: your qualifications, why you’d be good at the job, or even a page of photography or artwork. Email your application to

coordinating@mcgilldaily.com by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, March 28. Feel free to include samples of your work.

Any staffer who wants to vote in the election must attend the candidate rundown on Tuesday, April 1 at 5:00 p.m. in the Daily office (room B-24, in the Shatner building basement). There, each section’s outgoing editors will give an impartial outline of each candidate to the rest of the voters. You’re not allowed to hear what editors have to say about you or the other folks running against you, but don’t worry – nobody’s going to bash you. The idea is to give staff members who haven’t necessarily had a chance to meet each other the chance to learn more about each candidate.

Finally, the election itself will take place on Wednesday, April 2 at 5:00 p.m. in the Daily office. At the elections, each candidate is interviewed by an outgoing editor – talk to an editor to get a better idea of what you might be asked. After each candidate for each position is interviewed, there’s a round of voting for that position. Results for all positions are announced at the very end.

Meetings

Maybe you’ve never been involved with The Daily before, but you’re interested in an editorial position. That’s cool – with a bit of effort, you can probably still become staff before the election. Start attending section meetings, where editors pitch assignments to contributors. The News team meets Mondays at 4:30 p.m. in the Shatner cafeteria; the Photo and Graphics folks meet Mondays at 5:30 p.m. in the Daily office; Culture meets Tuesdays at 4:30 p.m. in the Daily office.

The other sections don’t have meetings, so if you’re interested in contributing to Commentary & Compendium, Features, Mind & Body, Science + Technology, or Production & Design, send the section editors an email (check mcgilldaily.com).

The Positions

Coordinating editor, Coordinating News editor , News editors (3), Commentary & Compendium editor, Features editor, Coordinating Culture editor, Culture editors (2), Mind & Body editor, Science + Technology editor, Photo editor, Graphics editor, Production & Design editor, Copy editor, Web editor

Helpful Tips

The best thing that you can do to get ready for an editorial position is to start coming into The Daily’s production nights. Every Wednesday and Friday, from mid-afternoon until the wee hours of the morning, we put this rag together in Shatner B-24. This is when we edit stories, draw graphics, lay out pages, discuss our editorials, and have a stressful-but-wholesome night of fun. Coming to at least a few production nights is an absolute must for anyone interested in an editorial position. Talk to an editor if you have any questions.

Attending Daily editorial board meetings is another necessity. Every Monday at 6:00 p.m., we meet in the QPIRG-McGill offices at 3647 University. At our edboard meetings, we plan out that week’s issues, reflect on past triumphs and failures, and discuss the newspaper’s direction. If you’re a staff member, you have full voting privileges, and we strongly encourage you to come along.

It’s also a good idea to sit down the editor currently occupying the position you’re interested in for a chat. Ask her about the position, any tips she has for getting prepared, and her suggestions for next year. Don’t be intimidated – our editors are mostly social outcasts anyway, imprisoned as they are in the Shatner basement’s windowless hell.


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