Editor and Publisher
2022 E&P EDITORS EXTRAORDINAIRE
Managing Editor, Shawangunk Journal Education: Ithaca College, bachelor of arts, journalism Lisa Reider’s publisher nominated her with these words: “Beyond her incredible intellect and talent as a writer and editor, beyond her intrinsic integrity and her ability to parse complexities and tease a clever headline, and beyond her willingness to go above and beyond for our newsroom, Lisa personifies what it means to be the calm in the storm. She is unflappable. … She has single-handedly raised the bar for our reporters and consistently given them concise and patient direction.” What advice do you have for other young professionals who aspire to become an editor extraordinaire? The most important part of crafting a story is readability. It’s part translation, part performance. You have to translate complicated laws, scientific data and multi-layered life experiences into something that not only gets the information across but does so in a way that engages the reader. If you’re struggling to understand an aspect of the story, if you stumble over words as you’re editing, then the reader will stumble, as well. In those situations, I tell writers to read what they wrote aloud and hear the words. How it sounds is how it will be read. Viewing the story almost as an oral report, or even a TV broadcast, can help you better pick up overly complicated phrasing or maybe find shorter sentences and words that could be changed. The key is communication, honing in on what matters most and constructing the information in a way that can be understood and passed on. Once you master that skill, readers will know they can rely on you for clean, understandable, and thought-provoking reporting, whatever the story may be. What was something you’ve published that truly surprised you with how it was received by your audience? When you put something out into the world, it’s always a gamble on how readers will react. In one story about a young man who needed a special medical procedure, some readers reached out to help him financially after we published the story. The man’s struggle to fund his own medical necessities resonated with a lot of people. In another story about a man trying to gain control of his late wife’s pension, a reader reached out to help him navigate the complicated legal system. Any time a story resonates with a reader enough so that they actually make an effort to reach out to us to make that human connection, it’s a welcome surprise.