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Ask an editor: Dale Mischke of the Villager

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Here’s Rebecca Shrake’s interview with Dale Mischke of the Villager newspaper.

1. How long have you been an editor?
I started working as an associate editor following graduation from college in 1982, working for a twice monthly newspaper.
After two and a half years, I entered the Peace Corps and taught English in a high school in Kenya, East Africa, for two years, then found a job as a news editor on a small city daily newspaper. I found that the daily newspaper grind didn’t suit my interests in editing. The time given for editing was so short, I felt more like a proofreader. So I returned to my previous position at a twice monthly newspaper. I then moved to Wisconsin and got a job as a publications editor for the Legislature in Madison. After three years in that position, I took a job as editor of a weekly newspaper in a village outside of Madison, Wisc. After a year of that, I was back in the Twin Cities working as a freelance reporter and a social worker. Since 1996 I’ve been editor of the twice-monthly Villager newspaper and its companion monthly newspaper.

2. Why did you become an editor?
My college degree was in English literature, I enjoy writing and I chose the editor’s path over the reporter’s path for the varied skills it allowed me to exercise, including writing, artistic layout, working with photography and art. It gives me the ability to oversee the quality of the entire publication, not just my story, and includes managerial as well as layout duties.

3. What does a typical day as an editor look like for you?
Our paper is on a two-week cycle, so it depends where we are in that cycle. Fielding telephone calls, meeting readers and sources face to face, calling sources, planning publications, assigning stories, editing stories by freelance writers, writing stories and editorials, assigning photographs to freelance photographers, cleaning up photos in photoshop, laying out the newspaper with editorial copy and photos, writing headlines and captions and proofreading the newspaper are all part of my job description.

4. What is the most difficult aspect of the job?
Thinking up new story ideas, especially soft features for special editorial sections.

5. What is your favorite part or the most rewarding part of the job?
Carrying a story from conception to completion with an eye-catching layout that grabs the reader’s eye and convinces them early on that this is a story worth reading.

Written by jour3155fall2012

February 13, 2012 at 12:01 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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