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ACP 2012 | Rules of the game: Collaboration and communication

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Follow Lauren Marie Sliter on Twitter @ThinkLauren.

We’ve been in Seattle for about 24 hours now. Our very own Eden Sugay has already killed it at her panel on Reporting on Private Campuses. Several of us attended our critique session where we got fabulous feedback on our print edition of The Campanil.

And now I’m preparing for my panel this afternoon: Managing a 4-year non-weekly newspaper. I’m going to give you all a sneak peak of what I plan on talking about, partially so our followers can feel special and partially because I need to write it out and organize my thoughts!

I almost feel as though I’m not an authority on this matter. Sure, I’m Editor in Chief, but I really don’t do much “managing.” The Campanil staff doesn’t need to be managed. We are a collection of intelligent, passionate and creative journalists of all genres. This staff is the most diverse in both attitude and ability that I’ve ever worked with. And so, really, my job is easy.

As I mull over my “management philosophy” I’ve realized that, for me, leading is about collaboration and communication. And I am in no way an expert in either of these areas. But it’s the thought that counts, I suppose.

Journalism is an art, and as such collaboration is fundamental in the production of our paper. Most of our best pieces, photos and designs are products of multiple ideas and points of view. The more diverse and willing to collaborate our staff becomes, the more successful I see our publication being. And so, above all else, my job is to facilitate an environment where my staff feels they can discuss and create together.

In order to make that environment a reality, nothing is more important than communication. Not just my ability to communicate what I want of my staff is important in this case, but also promoting open dialogues among staff members, with writers and with the broader community. Being able to hear what others think allows me to shape how The Campanil operates on multiple levels: our day to day process, our production schedule, our content, our accessibility. All of these things change as I communicate more with my staff and those outside our newsroom.

And so, this is what I plan on saying this afternoon. I don’t presume to be an expert here, and I am certainly not a perfect Editor, but hopefully by outlining what I feel are the most important aspects of a successful management style will help others define what effective management means to them.

Check out The Campanil’s Tumblr.