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Editors on 2018 Editorial Plans

Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 at 5:12 PM

Top editors discuss their goals for the coming year.

By William Dunkerley

Respondents to our mini poll on 2018 editorial goals have a clear objective this year: to focus on providing good content. Other top priorities include digital engagement and management planning. Here's what a diverse cross section of EO readers told us:

--Kent Kiser, publisher, Scrap: "Our industry (the scrap recycling industry) is facing unprecedented headwinds this year due to changes China made regarding its import standards for certain scrap/recyclable materials. Our specific editorial objective this year is to provide regular, timely, and relevant coverage of those changes to help our readers/members adapt and thrive in the new market environment. That coverage is a key part of our ongoing objective to be the most credible, authoritative, and respected information resource for our industry. The China situation just happens to be the priority issue this year.

"Also, even though our print magazine continues to hold its own financially, we continue to explore ways to increase our electronic footprint -- through our digital edition, website, and social media -- and seek opportunities to increase revenue from those sources. Our industry is slowly undergoing a generational shift, and the younger readers/members are expecting our magazine -- and, in fact, our entire association -- to communicate with them in different, primarily electronic ways compared with the older-generation readers/members."

--Paul McGrath, assistant news editor, Houston Chronicle: "My main objectives will be getting the pertinent political issues before US voters and keeping our readers apprised of national and international events."

--Keri Guten Cohen, story development editor, Detroit Jewish News: "At our publication, one of the largest independent Jewish weeklies in the country (founded in 1942), we are launching a yearlong campaign to shine the spotlight on teen mental health. A community survey conducted by the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit showed that teen respondents were dealing with problems common to teens across the country -- depression, bullying, social media anxiety, drug addiction, thoughts of suicide, and actual suicide (which was fairly easy to deduce by looking at the young faces in our weekly obituaries). It is not at epidemic proportions here, but enough to prompt the DJN to work with local Jewish agencies and professionals trying to address the problem.

"The goal is to raise awareness, reduce the stigma of mental health in the community, and give readers and those in the community tools for coping with the problem in their lives.

"Our first package of stories runs February 1. We've created a logo, a story budget, ideas for community events we plan to sponsor, and a budget for reporters, photographers, and videographers.

"This is a united effort with established Jewish agencies, with us taking the lead in putting the information before our readership -- mostly the parents and grandparents of the teens. We are excited about the possibilities for making a difference and thrilled with the teens, adults, and professionals touched by this topic who are willing to speak out."

-- Jose Maria Sanchez de Muniain, deputy editor, Bridge Design & Engineering: "Our goal: increasing the editorial quality of magazine content and being more selective on what is published, and increasing the quality of print as a way of competing with online publishing."

--Ken Roberts, assistant executive director for journals at the National Science Teachers Association: "We're developing digital engagement strategies that encourage new teachers to contribute content to the association, become members, and make use of our existing content."

--Gary S. Vasilash, editor-in-chief, Automotive Design & Production: "Our objective: creating a compelling ink-on-paper product each month for the readers."

--Rob Lodder, editor-in-chief, Contact in Context: "Our most important objective for 2018 is converting the journal to online, open peer review (from its current blinded review via email format)."

--Bradley Worrell, editor, RV Pro: "We're aiming for better long-range planning for our monthly magazine, both to give the edit team more time to work on features and to provide the advertising team with more advance time for potential tie-in advertising opportunities."

--Jef White, executive editor, The Shop: "As editor of a trade magazine for the specialty automotive aftermarket, my top editorial objective is to provide content that is 100 percent relevant and of interest to our readership. It's too easy to lose readers to indifference these days, and harder than ever to win them back, so they need to be top-of-mind through the assigning, writing, and editing cycle. What keeps them engaged? What do they find exciting? What do they need to know to do their jobs better? My goal is to understand our readers and then direct content to fill their needs."

William Dunkerley is principal of William Dunkerley Publishing Consultants, www.publishinghelp.com.

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