Northeastern student Rowan Van Lare is currently an Editorial Co-op at The Boston Globe, where she serves as a night editor – copyediting as articles are written and formatting them to fit into the paper. After that process, at the end of each night, she reads through the newspaper to ensure there are no typos. Since moving online, Rowan’s responsibilities have not changed too drastically, and she is still able to edit effectively– although getting up-to-speed on some new responsibilities may be challenging. We recently caught up with her to hear her experience of her “CAMD Co-op Gone Digital;” read more below!
How has your co-op changed since it’s moved online?
My responsibilities have lightened a little bit. On the editing front, I was going to be taught how to do new responsibilities as I continued to do the job, but that has become a lot harder. Besides that, my job hasn’t changed – although I have to read the paper online at the end of the night now. I’d also begun to write articles for Boston.com. I got one article published, but the other articles I’ve been working on have gotten put on hold, at least for now.
What digital tools is the Globe using to keep everyone productive and on-the-same-page?
I know people use Zoom for meetings, but I don’t meet with anyone. I talk over Slack with my boss and reporters – the latter usually being “please finish your article so I can edit it” – and use Gmail to get assignments.
For editing articles, we use Arc, which is a web-based editing tool. We also use a program called Methode, which is a very old formatting program. We format the paper on there, and it breaks down probably once a week. Fun fact: the program was started 17 days after I was born! But it works very well for formatting the actual layout of the paper. It can be frustrating, especially when the editors are not all together to commiserate when it shuts down.
Has there been anything unexpected for you as you transitioned your role online?
Honestly, the formatting tool Methode has surprised me by working a lot better than I’d anticipated. While it still shuts down occasionally, it is no worse off than it was when I worked in the office, while I’ve heard from other companies that their programs are slower when further away from the office. That was something I was very nervous about, but have been pleasantly surprised with.
During this difficult time, how are you staying motivated and inspired?
Staying motivated has been incredibly difficult. Now that I’ve moved home to my parent’s house, suddenly all three of us are working at home. My mom takes the first floor, teaching Kindergarten in the dining room to 20 five-year-olds over Zoom. My dad works in his office on the second floor of our house, and I set up a desk in my room on the third floor of our house. With my bed so close, it’s very difficult to not take one hundred micro naps a day.
I’ve found that reading things I enjoy has been helpful. While my whole job involves close-reading, it also involves staring at a computer screen. I use breaks to rest my eyes from that, which has helped me focus better when I’m actually working.