Missourian puts copy editors in charge of social networking

Reynolds Journalism Institute
The Columbia Missourian moved to a digital-first strategy this semester by taking copy editors away from print tasks and giving them online and social networking duties.

Nick Jungman, a visiting editor at the student-run paper, writes the experiment has been successful and believes it could be replicated at other newspapers.

The daily publication completely reversed its print and Web priorities, devoting the majority of staff time to online presentation and engagement. He writes:

“[Interactive copy editors] focus on getting stories to our website quickly and accurately, on finding ways to increase reader engagement with our work online, and on making sure the website is always putting its best possible foot forward. The work of a copy editor would be just beginning when an article [is] published.”

Jungman reports a “small team” of editors and designers publish the print edition, working from material already produced online.

Along with online content duties, the copy desk also manages the paper’s social media engagement:

“Interactive copy editors also monitor the comment boards at the end of every article. They take down comments that violate our policies, and they jump in when the conversation demands a Missourian response.”

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