Oklahoma Gazette opened doors for editing opportunities

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While interning for the Oklahoma Gazette over the summer, right away it was recognized that Hastings College senior Hannah Meeske had the ability to do more intensive work, including editing articles with the employees of the paper.

“I was the only editorial intern,” said Meeske, a triple major in English, Spanish and publishing. “The rest of them were either photojournalists or they were writing articles, so for the first two weeks I hung out with the assistant editor and just watched all she did. It was editing, it was fact-checking, it was finding stories and then reaching out to writers to assign and schedule them.”

Building experience
Through classes taught by Professor Eric Tucker, Meeske was able to learn about what being an editor means.

“He kind of latched on to the fact that I like editing so I could take that route and really go intensive in my writing and also do the editing sort of things that I enjoy,” she said.

Advanced Composition was another class that revealed to her both the writer’s and readers’ perspectives and how it is the job of the editor to cater to both.

Being a co-editor of Spectrum, the College’s student-published literary magazine, also added to Meeske’s expertise and independent experience. What she learned, including working with programs like InDesign, traveled with her to Oklahoma, where she took an internship for credit towards her English major.

Originally from Colorado Springs, Colorado, Meeske first went on the search for internships related to writing and editing. While considering different places, she knew she wanted her focus to be more editing-based.

“I just wanted to get into that area so I could figure out that maybe I don’t like editing and I actually need to do writing or something like that. But I really wanted to try the editing,” she said.

After sending her résumé in to many different newspapers and magazines, she heard back from the Oklahoma Gazette in Oklahoma City. A weekly newspaper, it delves deeper into stories and according to Meeske, is more in depth than other publications.

She had the chance to sit in on meetings, listen to phone interviews and read the direct result of those conversations by editing that work. Because of interactions like this, Meeske got to know the ins and outs of the newspaper business and how the company works.

By taking the job in Oklahoma, Meeske said, “I learned what I hoped to. I got all of that experience, just super hands on, so that was good and I think I want to continue editing.”

Applying experience to reach goals
Meeske hopes to achieve that goal by continuing her education the Denver Publishing Institute as part of the University of Denver in Colorado. Although she lived just an hour and a half south of Denver, Meeske said she wasn’t aware of the program until the assistant editor, who attended, told her about it.

“I had to go to Oklahoma to figure out about an institute that I basically live at,” she said.

The seminar is four weeks long, aimed at teaching post-undergraduate and graduate students. Meant to be intensive, it teaches through invited speakers that are authors, editors, publishers and marketers, to give those attending a clear idea of what to expect in the market of writing.

Beyond that, the road is open for Meeske and her opportunities.

Story by Amanda Miller, a senior from Woodland Park, Colorado majoring in journalism