Looking for job descriptions for your web staff? Consider having them write their own

I’m never one who follows a strict path year to year. My staff jobs, job titles and job descriptions take the form of the staff and their goals. I do this, rather than mold the staff to some rigid form that I set up that maybe doesn’t set them up for success. My number of editors each year also changes a little depending on who is returning so sometimes we are able to break one big job into two, other times we have to combine a couple jobs into one. We also have some jobs that just fall by the wayside and go away either because the staff’s focus has changed or because we don’t have anyone who wants to run the section.

I generally assign student editors titles and tell them a little about how I see their job taking shape. Once the year begins and we get into things, I have them write their own job descriptions. Here’s some of what they came up with this year:

  • Web Editor In Chief
    As the editor in chief of web, I work to oversee daily operations in the room and keep a scheduled and organized planned throughout class time. I work with the editors of web to keep a steady flow with their sections of the room as well as work flow with the staffers. I will also serve as a leading role of the livestream team and work with editors of other staffs and discuss weekly activities and lessons for Rule of 3 days.
  • Managing Editor
    My job as FHNtoday Managing Editor is to oversee the daily functions of FHNtoday. Along with that, I cultivate the content for the site. I’m also the lead copy editor and instructor on this. I’m in charge of the overall design of the website. I’m the lead on SNO Distinguished Sites too.
  • FHNgameday.com Editor
    My role in the room is to overlook the sports beat system throughout our entire publications. I work with the other sports editors in different staffs to help make sure that people who decide to have a sports beat are meeting the required deadlines. I also help to organize the sports beat system to make sure that staffers can not only put up a quality amount of content, but can have fun doing it. Finally, I check each post to make sure that the content is up to standards before posting it onto fhngameday.com.
  • Advertising Editor
    I am the advertising editor of the Francis Howell North publications. I oversee and produce all the advertisements in the North Star newspaper, Excalibur yearbook, and FHNtoday website. With the help of my ads team, we contact advertisers to see their vision for their advertisement and based on their responses we will use indesign to create their personal ads space. After each ad is approved I budget all of them into pages for whichever media they will be a part of (newspaper, yearbook, etc).
  • Social Media Editor
    As the editor in charge of social media my job is to bring a face to the publications room. To connect with the students on a personal level and to make sure that they are getting informant that effects them and is in a form that they are interested in. I oversee and make sure I and my social team keep up with daily posting on most if not all of our social media accounts. I also track analytics for the accounts and try to build off of it to improve content in the coming weeks.

The exercise to creates these gets the editors thinking about what they should be doing and helps focus them to start the year. We also measure them against one another so that no two editors are overlapping in their jobs.

You can have general staffers work to create their own job descriptions too. It would be a simple class exercise where they would write 3 sentences about how they see their job playing out. The staffers could share what they come up with and then they could adopt/adapt one final one for them all to follow.

Aaron Manfull

Aaron is in his 26th year of advising student media. He is currently the Director of Student Media at Francis Howell North High School in St. Charles, Missouri. He is the Journalism Education Association Digital Media Chair and co-Director of Media Now. He is the 2023 JEA Teacher Inspiration Award Winner and is a former Dow Jones News Fund National Journalism Teacher of the Year. He is one of the authors of the textbook "Student Journalism and Media Literacy." You can find him on X and Instagram @manfull. He's a proud father. A transplanted Iowan. And an avid Hawkeye Fan.

Aaron Manfull has 868 posts and counting. See all posts by Aaron Manfull

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