Editing center puts top students, professionals under Avery's roof

By Dick Thien
Alumni News Editor

An editing dream team assembled last June when the nation’s top students gathered in Avery Hall with some of the country’s best editors.

The 14 students, all Dow Jones editing interns, scored in the top 10 percent among more than 800 who took the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund nationwide editing test last winter. They came to Lincoln eager — and anxious — to get prepared for their summer internships at 11 newspapers in six states.

“It is easy to understand why the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund’s editing internship program is so highly regarded,” Dean Will Norton Jr. told the students.

“Its quality is measured in the achievement of its students and its graduates.

“For decades, students in this program have gone on to become top editors in the country. Graduates of this program also have moved into top jobs in a variety of other editing professions.”

The students praised the intense instruction they had June 9 to June 21 at the college’s Center for Editing Excellence before going to their newspapers.

The sessions — from 8:30 a.m. until 9 p.m. — were put together by Daryl Frazell, news-editorial chairman, with assistance from colleagues John Bender, Charlyne Berens and Dick Thien.

The center, sponsored by the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund, prepares students with two weeks of editing drills, including publication of The Journalist, the college laboratory newspaper.

Kelly Johnson, a Dow Jones editing intern from the college, had her two-week training at the University of Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia, Mo. She was an intern at the Argus Leader in Sioux Falls, S.D., her hometown.

The 14 students, their schools and the newspapers they went to are:
  — Paige Bills, University of Oregon, Amarillo Daily News, Texas.
  — Robert Clark, Texas A&M University, Houston Chronicle, Texas.
  — Greg Duran, Portland State University, San Antonio Express-News, Texas.
  — Melanie Gerik, University of Texas at Austin, Houston Chronicle.
  — David Harrell, Columbia College of Chicago, The Tennessean, Nashville.
  — Janea Jackson, Central State University, Wilberforce, Ohio, The Daily Tribune, Ames, Iowa.
  — Chris Long, Northwestern University, USA TODAY, Arlington, Va.
  — Joseph Shaulis, Ohio University, Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester, N.Y.
  — Van Sias, University of South Alabama, The Reporter Dispatch, part of Gannett Suburban Newspapers, White Plains, N.Y.
  — Erin Spraw, Ohio University, San Antonio Express-News, Texas.
  — Laura Stromberg, University of Texas at Austin, Houston Chronicle.
  — David Thorn, University of Oregon, The Dallas Morning News, Texas.
  — Amy Winn, University of Georgia, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock.
  — Lisa Wyatt, University of Texas at Austin, Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Texas.

The students reported to Frazell and Thien, co-directors of the center, that they learned a lot on the job, and their editors reported that the students were doing professional work. Some editors said they wanted to hire their intern after the student’s graduation.

The students said they also appreciated the work of Sheila Perry, news-editorial department guardian angel, who kept them full of food and out of trouble.

“There are many interns who get lost in Avery Hall and are never heard from again — ever,” Perry told the students. “I don’t want that to happen to you.”

It didn’t.

The Dow Jones interns made it to Avery each morning by following their noses. Perry had homemade cookies, brownies and other goodies ready by 8 a.m. to keep students’ energy level high.

“I like students,” she said. “If I didn’t, I would not be working on the UNL campus.”