“You want an editor with some sort of personality and some sort of opinion,” said Ellen Stein Burbach, assistant managing editor, administration; curator at
the Plain Dealer.
Stein Burbach and Skip Hall, copy editor and page producer at the Plain Dealer, said on Oct. 12 while talking to journalism students from Lorain County Community College, that there is still a market for printed news.
“Do it if you love it and if it is your passion,” said Hall.
Hall told the students about going into journalism. Both copy editors said that with their experience they are now able to look at a story and know right away the edits to make to it.
Stein Burbach said that the most rewarding part of being a copy editor is being able to look at something and improve it in someway.
Hall said that the lede of a story is very important. He told students to read a lede out loud to tell whether or not it is a good lede.
“Writing headlines is the most fun for me,” said Hall.
Hall is the brains behind many of the Plain Dealers most famous headlines.
“A headline is an invitation to read the story,” said Hall.
Hall and Stein Burbach both agreed that there is no average time to edit and that it really just depends on the story. When they get tired of editing, they will take a walk around the building which Stein Burbach says is about a mile. They keep the lights off in the Pub Hub, which is where the editing takes place, to help reporters and editors lessen the strain on their eyes from staring at a computer screen for several hours a day.
Stein Burbach and Hall said that students interested in working for the Plain Dealer should have some prior experience at a small newspaper. They informed students that you are more likely to be hired if you want to live in Cleveland and stay in the writing industry.
“Get experience, get published,” Stein Burbach said.