Editing for the future with News21


I’ve spent part of my summer working with 12 talented students at UNC-Chapel Hill on Powering A Nation, a Web site that looks at the intersection of energy and demographics. The site, which debuted Friday, is part of the News21 project.

As one of several faculty coaches, I advised the project’s editing team on issues of work flow, story editing, alternative story forms, word choice and headlines. It was a pleasure to work with this group in our newsroom.

It’s important to note that members of the editing team also served as reporters. As reporters wrapped up their stories, they were sometimes drafted for other duties, including help with editing. As you can see on the site’s “making of” blog, everyone did a bit of everything.

The idea behind News21 is to serve as an incubator for multimedia journalism, where students can chart a course for the future of news. My time with the students this summer reinforced my belief that editing will play a significant role in that future.