Editor Admits: We Whine Too  | American Journalism Review
 AJR  Drop Cap
From AJR,   September 1994

Editor Admits: We Whine Too   

By Peggy Kuhr
Peggy Kuhr is an assistant managing editor of the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington.      

Related reading:
   » A Newsroom Manifesto: No More Whining

So what do editors do in all those meetings? Much of the time we're whining.

Editors have spent as much time as reporters (if not considerably more) learning how to whine. And in the arena of editing, where you never see a byline, it's easy to feel unappreciated.

Reporters almost always take too long to get a story done. They write too long. They only get excited about projects. They spend too much time in the newsroom. They don't know how good they've got it, being responsible only for their own work.

Sure, editors can be judgmental. We judge reporters and ideas and stories and photos on a daily basis. We get so used to making decisions about other people's work that we are in danger of dismissing our own bad decisions by insisting someone else isn't doing their job.

The culture of whining that has taken hold in many newsrooms nourishes an us-versus-them attitude that doesn't nourish people. To be effective, editors should be helpers. We might start by helping ourselves, by talking to people rather than about them.