The Verbs of My Job


I recently wrote an article for Poynter called Confessions of a Twitter Holdout. Yes, that’s me. It took my 6+ years to join Twitter. Why did it take so long? Well, I had quite a few fears holding me back, but in the six months that I’ve been on Twitter I realize now that those fears were unfounded. Why is this relevant? You can’t tell me that everyone you know is on Twitter (can you?). I hope my little confessional will convince other journos (and anyone else) that they should not be scared and that it’s time to join.

I’m no dinosaur, but when I was working on my undergrad in print journalism back in 2001-2005 we definitely didn’t learn a thing about social media. That’s not to say that my school, LSU’s Manship School, was behind the times. We had classes in coding, designed websites, mastered Photoshop & QuarkXpress, learned about writing for the Web, and logged many hours editing video in the basement computer lab.

It was just that social media wasn’t really being used mainstream by journalists at that point.

In my final semester, a friend and classmate told me about this new fangled only-for-college-students network called the Facebook. Her exact words were, “it’s like crack.” Swamped by projects, exams, and the desire to graduate magna cum laude I decided that I did not need “crack” in my life.

Stephanie hard at work.

Stephanie hard at work.

I never joined.

I went to graduate school for journalism, and even then, in 2005 to 2008 social media was not front and center. I have to say that learning the theories of mass media and mass communication was much more useful than learning how to tweet or post on Facebook (I’m saying that in all honesty!).

Fast forward to today, when I look at my daily job duties I realize that social media has become central. One day after spending an inordinate amount of time editing images on Photoshop that I then posted to Instagram and Pinterest, I thought about the verbs of my job. I wrote them all down, and looking at them now, I imagine what the budding journalist in 2001 would have thought about that list. Overwhelmed? Excited? Most likely a mix of both.

The Verbs of My Job:

Project manage

About Stephanie Y.

I'm a professional news writer in Frederick, Maryland. I blog at S.Y. Ciphers.

3 responses to “The Verbs of My Job”

  1. Adrienne Lawrence Mendonca says :

    I’m with you. When I was 22, I took a typing test and couldn’t type more than 11 words a minute. I still can’t believe it. Now I’m coding websites and type more like 60 words a minute. The two verbs on your list that really stand out for me are: Gatekeep and Curate. The former is a given for our industry, but the latter poses a whole different view on our work. I agree, we do curate in our jobs, especially when it comes to picking the right images for an online gallery.

    • Stephanie Y. says :

      I actually hesitated about including gatekeep because I think it has some negative connotations. However, I think it’s an important part of any editorial job. At some point, someone has to decide what will be printed (or published) and what will not. In fact, what’s not printed is usually what makes a great publication stand out, in my opinion. Yes, curating is huge. So much info out there and often times our readers want to know what is worth reading (even if it’s not something we wrote/developed ourselves).

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