1. You call or email on weekends
The occasional weekend call is excusable. Calling every Saturday or Sunday with questions about stories or comments on future projects is not. Save the suggestions for Monday.
2. Your office door is closed
Whether you’re constantly out to lunch or vacation or you’re just shutting your self out from the world, your staff will resent never being able to reach you.
3. You can’t walk the walk
There’s nothing worse than having your writing critiqued by someone who can’t write themselves. If you are commanding your staff to write or produce a story but can’t actually do it yourself, you will lose the respect of your staff.
4. You stifle creativity
True innovation comes from experimentation. If you insist that everything be written by the book and don’t allow room for creativity, you’ll end up with a very bored staff producing very boring work.
5. You don’t fight for your staff
Every once in a while, writers and producers will have a story that they are particularly passionate about. Don’t shoot down their dreams and ambitions by cutting these stories without justification or ushering them through the editing process.
6. You hover
Writers and reporters don’t like to be haunted. Avoid standing over their desks while they’re working or appearing out of nowhere and standing there silently.
7. You change facts without notice
If you notice something wrong in a story and alter it without consulting the writer or reporter, you may make an incorrect change that can affect the credibility of the entire story. Before you make any edits that alter the facts in a story, consult with the writer first.
8. You rewrite stories in your voice
Even more insulting than changing facts is changing writing so it mirrors your own voice and not the voice of the reporter. Changing grammar and sentence structure is one thing, changing the style of writing is an insult.
9. There are too many of you
Working with several editors at once is sort of like walking a pack of dogs down the street — every dog has an idea of where it wants to go and it’s up to the dog walker to keep everyone on track. Don’t be those dogs. Coordinate your efforts.
10. You don’t prioritize
Handing down too many “priority” tasks at once is a sure way to frustrate your staff.
If everything is an emergency, then nothing is.
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