Be The Editor
Do you think that you might like to edit the Kennington Chronicle?
The Kennington Chronicle is looking for a replacement for the current editor (me), who is retiring for health reasons after 14 years.
If you choose to take on this volunteer position, I shall give you as much help as you need during the transition — you absolutely won’t be dumped in the deep end to fend for yourself!
What is the role about?
The Editor of this magazine is an easy job, probably quite unlike editorship of newspapers and other periodicals. (But it can still go on your CV.) You receive articles, advertisements, the diary, and the front cover, and put them into the month’s template.
On the 15th or 16th of the month, you rearrange everything to compile the Chronicle, send it for quality-checking, and finally send it to the Printer. You also go to the Library to print a full-size full-colour copy.
“Tell me more!”
Throughout the month, you receive articles from various people, usually in the first half of the month before the deadline (4:00 p.m. on the 15th of the month).
For each article, you first decide if it is relevant for the Chronicle.
- Most articles are directly related to the Village.
- Some are not, but are suitable if there is enough space that month. You let the submitter know that there is no guarantee to include it.
- Some are advertisements (sometimes barely disguised as articles), which you redirect to Mark, our Advertising Co-ordinator.
- Some are unsuitable, so you don’t include them. We get barely any spam, which of course you ignore.
Village organisations and charities always get priority over commercial or outside interests.
If the article is too long, you can get back to the submitter and ask for it to be shortened, or you can shorten it yourself (sometimes dramatically so).
You put relevant articles into the month’s template. Proofread, correct spelling and grammar mistakes; change anything to fit with the Chronicle’s style if necessary; and shorten the article if it’s too long. Add in any suitable images if they’re provided.
This sounds like a lot, but really, it generally takes just five minutes per article! Only a few take longer. Keeping up to date is throughout the month is easy.
You also receive the advertisements as a set of full pages, sometimes plus a single part-page. The single part-page goes into the Chronicle just as if it were a normal article (but without a heading).
The front cover
You receive the front cover, which you can adjust if required. Adding details in the information boxes is easy.
You receive the diary entries before the deadline, which you place into the diary at the back of the Chronicle.
Compiling the Chronicle
On the 15th or the 16th of the month (except July, because we don’t have an August edition), you count how many pages there are (I’ll show you how to do this easily). Rearrange the contents to fit into a multiple of 4 pages (again, I’ll show you the easy way to do this). This takes me 2–3 hours.
Why a multiple of 4 pages?
If you look carefully at the printed Chronicle, you’ll see that it is made up of A4 sheets, folded and stapled together. Each single sheet contains two A5-pages each side, i.e. four pages in total. That’s why it’s a multiple of 4!
“What equipment will I need?”
- A reasonably modern computer.
- A good internet connection.
- A word processor. I recommend LibreOffice (free!) because of how easy it is to do the various tasks, but you are welcome to use something else if that’s what you prefer. (If you don’t use LibreOffice, you will need to convert the current template to your preferred format. I’ll help you with that. Be aware that I don’t know how to do the easy stuff in other products.)
- If you choose to use a desktop publishing package such as Scribus (free!), you are welcome to do so, but it might be overkill for this magazine.
- A dictionary (free!) and a thesaurus (free!).
- Microsoft Publisher. It’s used only once a month to convert the advertisements into images, so if you don’t have Publisher, don’t worry, we’ll sort it out.
- A graphics package (to crop or otherwise enhance images). You can use Adobe’s Photoshop, GIMP (free!), or any other package that you might prefer.
- A backup program to save your hard work, and to make it available to other team members. I use SpiderOak ONE, but you could use Dropbox, Google Drive, Onedrive, or any of a number of others. To my knowledge, Google Drive is the most generous, with 15Gb free storage; we already have an account for the Editor.
“What skills do I need?”
- A decent grasp of English, and a willingness to correct others’ errors.
- The ability to find your way around whichever word processor you choose to use.
You might also change the Chronicle’s style, if you feel that you can make improvements on the current format.
The Kennington Chronicle will cover any expenses that you might incur, not that there are many.
“It sounds interesting, but I’m not sure…”
If you think that you might be interested, but you’re not sure, contact me. I’ll be pleased to answer any questions and give you an honest explanation of what’s needed, so that you can make an informed decision.