Leadership and Teambuilding
As important as producing a paper is, even more crucial is building the trust and respect among the staff. At The ReMarker, practicing leadership is a primary focus, and the only way to secure and important position is to demonstrate and teach leadership values. Values like looking beyond your own needs and addressing the needs of the younger staff members. It's making tough decisions about the story direction. It's making sure that as journalists, we include all perspectives and tell the whole story.
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As a leader on The ReMarker, I've worked to develop strong relationships with the youngest members of our staff. Every cycle, I ensure that the "rookies" get opportunities to write promising stories, and one of the ways I do this is through our slotting sheet. Over the summer, I redesigned this sheet to allow for a smoother and more transparent story slotting process so that we will continue to have strong leadership throughout the years.
By getting the younger staff members more involved, I've become a mentor to many of these students. There are more than 60 people all working together to produce each issue of The ReMarker, the largest staff ever, but I've maintained a connection with every single one.
Another step I've taken as a leader has been to push for our coverage to be more reflective of not just the St. Mark's community, but the community of the greater Dallas area. For the most recent edition of the Focus magazine, I noticed that almost all of our stories were based around old white men. I wanted to change that.
By exploring the murals of Deep Ellum and the arts scene in Dallas, I was able to find several mural artists who better represented the complete makeup of the Dallas community.
But the most important aspect of being a leader on a newspaper is guiding the direction of the stories. We ran a story in our December 2015 issue that focused on the lives of several police officers who work on campus. We gave the story to a writer who took the story in a direction that presented unconfirmed opinions about the Rodney King beatings as fact. I helped the writer guide his story down a more balanced path while maintaining many aspects of the original work.