Sara Salinas is deputy business editor at CNBC.com. A native of Maryland, she has worked in various roles at CNBC since earning a degree in journalism from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2017. In this interview, conducted by email, Salinas discusses her role at CNBC (including editing and headline writing) and offers advice to college students interested in careers in business journalism.
Q. Describe your job at CNBC. What is your typical day like?
A. As deputy editor for our site’s Business and Company News team, I spend all day swimming in stories about transportation, media, entertainment, retail and restaurants. I work with a team of 11 beat reporters, strategizing around what we should cover, when we should cover it and how.
My typical day starts before the stock markets open, reading in on news and editing and publishing some quick hit pieces to jump start the day for the team. By mid-morning, I’ll have caught up with reporters to hear about what’s on their plates for the day or beyond, plan broader coverage for ongoing storylines, and schedule out the always-frenzied earnings report season.
Even the best-scheduled days can get derailed by a breaking news story, but I chip away at edits on longer feature stories as I’m able and wrap up my day sometime after the markets close when it feels like we’re safely beyond the 4 p.m. hour news dump.
Q. How do headline writing and story editing work at the CNBC site?
A. Reporters at CNBC.com typically write a headline on their stories before sending the whole package up for editing. Any of the editors on my team can pick up a story for edit. (At the moment it’s just me and my Senior Editor, but we’re hiring another Deputy Editor to round out our trio).
For more in-depth stories we may both take a read but a single, thorough edit is standard. We read for everything from story structure and reporting gaps to grammar and punctuation. We’ll make suggested adjustments and leave TKs for reporters to fill in where we have questions.
We’ll look at the reporter’s headline and other formatting and packaging with an eye toward readability and search engine optimization. We’ll also look at the included art like thumbnail images and videos. CNBC.com has a standalone copy desk, as well, which does a tighter line edit on stories after it’s been read over by the section editors.
Q. You recently wrote on Twitter that you love your job. What aspects of the work do you enjoy the most?
A. I love thinking through how to cover a story. My team meets every new SEC filing, corporate announcement or product release with the question, “What makes this a CNBC story?”
Sometimes the answer is obvious, and we jump right away. Sometimes it takes a little massaging or creative thinking … “where’s the money coming from,” “where’s it going,” “what could it mean for an individual business or a way of doing business?”
Deciding a story is for us means considering timing, angle, scope and a handful of other factors to make sure we do right by the tack we’ve chosen. My reporters know their beats inside and out, so my job is often to poke holes, push for more or simply just package their smart analysis into a story that will click — literally and figuratively — with our audience.
Q. What advice do you have for college students interested in jobs and internships in business journalism?
A. My advice is to collect all the skills you can early on. If someone in your newsroom is consistently choosing your art for you or tracking down filings, ask them to show you how. Stay curious and learn about every step of the process, from sourcing and reporting to editing and backend publishing.
Even if it’s not yet within your experience level to complete those tasks, you’ll be better positioned in any newsroom if you understand every step of putting out a story, what skills are needed for those steps and who has them.
Read stories by Sara Salinas on the CNBC website, and follow her on Twitter.
2 thoughts on “Q&A with Sara Salinas of CNBC.com”
[…] Read more here. […]
[…] CNBC’s Salinas talks her job… “As deputy editor for our site’s Business and Company News team, I spend all day swimming in stories about transportation, media, entertainment, retail and restaurants. My typical day starts before the stock markets open, reading in on news and editing and publishing some quick hit pieces to jump start the day for the team,” Sara Salinas said. “Even the best-scheduled days can get derailed by a breaking news story, but I chip away at edits on longer feature stories as I’m able and wrap up my day sometime after the markets close when it feels like we’re safely beyond the 4 p.m. hour news dump.: Read her full interview with UNC-Chapel Hill journalism professor Andy Bechtel here. […]
Comments are closed.