Writing Wrongs: An Interview with Alex Daugherty About His Editor in Chief Position for “The Bates Student”

Alex, a fan of the Orioles (and probably a few other bird species), smiles in front of the Bates Student bulletin board. Fun fact for you readers out there: my favorite bird is tied between a crow and a Kakapo.

Alex Daugherty, a Sophomore at Bates College, has been the Editor in Chief for The Bates Student this past semester after the previous Editor in Chief went abroad. “I worked as the Managing Sports Editor first semester and I was the Assistant Sports Editor and Staff Writer during my freshman year. I heard about the job through a meeting with editors and filled out an application. There was an application that I filled out last short term and then was informed of my job over the summer. The application involved a lot of standard questions plus some writing samples.”

Since Alex enjoys writing and has an interest in journalism, working at The Student has been both fun and rewarding for him, especially since he gets to see the end result of his hard work in a published newspaper every week. However, the road leading up to the publishing of the newspaper is a long and arduous one. “Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays are my busiest days. After writing my own article for the week over the weekend, I start editing Arts and Forum on Sunday nights. On Mondays, I edit news and layout begins for arts and forum. On Tuesdays, I edit sports and layout for the other two sections take place. All of the editors for each section come into the newsroom in Chase to look over their sections and upload the articles to our website. I then take one last look over the paper before it is packaged and sent to the printer.”

The editor in chief speaks with authority towards the design layout coordinator: "Are we on the same page?" (Ha.) Throughout the week, Alex answers a bevy of emails and work with editors, to think about what stories will be best for the paper.”We have to deal with some interesting submissions on a weekly basis and decide whether or not they are worthy of being published. I won’t talk about any specifically, but we’ve gotten some weird stuff.” Alex works around 20 hours a week and interact with the other editors and campus administrators via email, keeping in close contact with the other editor in chief, Jordan Banez, on an almost daily basis.”

Alex’s favorite part of working as Editor in Chief is “seeing people around campus reading and talking about what we publish each week, it’s really rewarding.” Working as an Editor in Chief means Alex has had to learn how to manage about 10 people directly and close to 30 indirectly. “It’s a huge challenge and one that does not come up in a traditional academic setting, but getting used to working with weekly deadlines and last minute changes and hiccups is something that is incredibly handy for ‘the real world’”. Running a college newspaper does not just apply to potentially working for a newspaper in the future, the skills Alex has learned working at The Bates Student can be applied to any professional environment.

Alex contemplates the next issue of "The Bates Student". You don't have to solve all our problems, Alex. (Get it? Because an issue can also be defined as a problem? Oh man, get me on a stage, stat!)

Through working at the Newspaper, Alex has learned that “you can’t take a day off, as there is always something that needs to be done, just like in the real word. There is also a fine line between getting your point across to someone that you are unhappy with and making them angry.” Being diplomatic is a key part of working with an assortment of different people with differing opinions and schedules. “The Student prepares me in a way that no group project in a class can replicate. I have also become very good at taking criticism and complaints because part of the job of being in charge is also being the person that anyone who is angry with or disappointed with the paper talks to.”

Alex, along with the other editors, maintains a working relationship with the administration and have met with various directors of campus programs such as the Harward Center so that they can establish a good working relationship with institutions that the newspaper may rely on for a future article or interview. The Student interact with campus as a whole through their new website, which allows for student input and comments. The Bates Student also has a new delivery service that Alex hopes to expand so that more Batesies have access to the paper.