Top 5 Resources for Aspiring Magazine Editors

From the career café to award-winning staff members, the IU School of Journalism and its faculty provide an abundance of resources to students. And although Hoosiers couldn’t be more grateful for our inboxes’ weekly serving of The Scoop or for our access to computer labs, aspiring journalists cannot get enough resources. You’re in luck, whippersnappers. We’ve compiled a list of the top five resources every magazine journalist-to-be should be using religiously.

1. Prescription for a Subscription
We know it can take some extra encouragement to purchase that glossy magazine you can’t pass in CVS without thumbing through, which is why we’re seriously advising you to stop using that perforated, mail-in subscription order as merely a bookmark. The only way to write for your favorite magazine is to read it, read it again and read it once more. When you earn an interview for your dream job (and we have complete confidence that you will), you’ll want to be able to reference former features, identify a target market and pitch appropriate articles. In other words, you’ll want to know the magazine inside and out.

2. Apps on Apps on Apps
Forget to check out an audio recorder for your interview this weekend? There’s an app for that. Don’t have a pen and paper handy? There’s an app for that. Can’t escape personalized Web searches? There’s an app for that, too. Because journalists live an on-the-go lifestyle, we strongly suggest you to visit the app store and load up on some mobile journalistic resources. Don’t you think Evernote would sit comfortably between Instagram and Angry Birds? So do we.

3. #SocialMedia
Sharing may be caring, but we endorse listening more than anything. It’s time to go on a following spree, whippersnappers; however, following Cosmo will only give you content. You’re looking for the juicy details on what it takes to create that content, aren’t you? First, navigate your way to your favorite magazine’s website. Oh, please. As if you’re not already there. Then, find its staff. This usually takes a bit of scrolling, but can be found with some sort of title like “Contact Us.” Next, start plugging and chugging staff members into your Twitter search box. Soon, your Twittersphere will be full of encouragement from editors, suggestions from staff and probably some photos of luxurious lunches and custom cupcakes that you’ll enjoy too one day. One day.

4. Keep Calm and Stay Style Savvy
From here on out, the Associated Press Stylebook is your bible. Most magazines follow AP style, or a rendition of AP style, so you’ll want to familiarize yourself with it. Practice makes perfect and whether it’s a midterm paper or a blog post, it’s time to implement AP into your editing. The AP Stylebook is chock-full of instruction from fixes on format to advice on addresses. Note: The Stylebook is annually updated, so it may become a burden on a collegiate budget to purchase each publication. Instead, we advise all whippersnappers to follow AP on social media for everyday style suggestions that will keep you updated between periodic purchases of physical copies.

5. Ed ‘til the End
And last, but certainly not least, is our dear friend Ed. We can guarantee a few things when it comes to Ed2010 such as never spending a summer without the position as a sun-kissed intern. Additionally, the only problem Ed will propose is revising your resume to fit a single page. If you’re a recent graduate that’s facing a series of unfortunate events with only a can of Spaghetti-O’s to your name, have no fear. Direct your Ben & Jerry’s-stained scroll pad to Ed’s “Mentor Me” page and dry your tears before you receive a 60-minute question-and-answer session full of all the career advice you could imagine. And while you’re bookmarking Ed2010, be sure to bookmark us as well for local tips and tricks on conquering the magazine industry one resource at a time.

Kelsey Roadruck

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