Position: Executive Committee member (two-year term)
Job title: Professor
At: University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, Okla.
Job description: Teach classes in news reporting, editing and media law. Involved in producing online learning and converting existing classroom courses into online. Researching issues of how to teach reporting and editing in a 100 percent online environment.
How has the nominee contributed to ACES?
Bill has tried to schedule and produce one of the ACES regional editing workshops in Oklahoma City, working with the three major area universities — University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University and University of Central Oklahoma — for student involvement, and with the Oklahoma Pro chapter of SPJ for support.
What makes the nominee the best candidate for this position?
He has taught some form of news reporting and editing in higher education for the last 23 years. He also has worked full and part time as a copy editor in the real world for the past 33 years. He has produced hybrid online courses in reporting, and is involved in producing 100 percent online learning in reporting and editing. For better or worse, online education is here to stay, and ACES should be involved as this affects the education of future copy editors.
If elected, what does the nominee envision for ACES during his or her tenure?
As a part of ACES’ mission, higher education should be made aware that editing classes are important in in all curriculum areas — not just in news reporting. Industries outside of mass communication expect grammar and composition knowledge. But hands-on editing classes are seen as labor-intensive with a negative effect on the bottom line. Can an editing or reporting class be effective if totally online? Such higher education issues should be part of the ACES focus.
This year, for the first time, none of the board candidates is currently working in newspapers or magazines, and the new board will have a majority from outside of newsrooms. How can ACES keep its credibility as a journalistic organization as well as its increasingly important role as a resource and advocate for copy editors who do not work in news? Indeed, should it?
ACES clearly is at a crossroads. I believe ACES can maintain credibility as a professional organization for copy editors in journalism, but it must accept that copy editing exists in other industries. My university graduates tell me that in their employment, they edit copy in the energy, health care, power generation and infrastructure industries. That’s quite a wide range of businesses. ACES could decide to remain focused as a journalistic organization. However, membership will remain static and may well decline over time. Copy editing has encountered news industry realities but thrives in many industries and businesses. ACES should embrace this as an opportunity to communicate the value of copy editing, not only in journalism but also in business.