The Daily is the independent voice of OU’s students. It is governed by the Publications Board, which reports to the regents. Each year, the Publications Board hires the editor-in-chief for the fall-spring semesters and the summer semester. The board also hires the newsroom’s editorial adviser, whose responsibilities, as spelled out in the board’s charter, are to:
- Understand and adhere to the policies and procedures of the board;
- Serve as principal adviser for the editorial content of the publications;
- Understand the sensitive role the publication plays in the university community;
- Adhere to the principle that editorial freedom is a basic requirement for college publications and therefore not participate directly in determining editorial content;
- Help editors fully comprehend their duties and the objectives of the publication.
The adviser typically meet these responsibilities by:
- Attending all editorial board meetings in which content is planned. The adviser’s role in these meetings is to answer questions and to volunteer both advice and factual information they believe will benefit students as they make the content decisions.
- Posting regular markups of coverage. These typically point out errors, suggest improvements and make content and design suggestions.
- Organizing newsroom trainings, especially at the start of each semester.
In addition, the adviser is an important link to the professional journalism community. They maintain job and internship postings, provide career tips and frequently write letters of recommendation for newsroom staff.
The mark-up: Journalists work for an audience, and audiences are frank. Every word and image we publish will be evaluated, sometimes critically. As you transition from student to professional journalists, criticism will become easier to take.
For many students, the adviser’s markup, publicly posted, may be their first real experience of critical feedback. Editors must help staff members understand that the purpose of this feedback is to improve both the coverage and the individual. To do so editors should:
- Set an example by reading the mark-up
- Talk about the markup at meetings when relevant, pointing out praise and ways work can improve
- Urge staffers to read the markup and ask about points they don’t understand
- Explain to staff that quality of work depends greatly on level of experience, but all staff members are expected to produce work that reflects high journalistic standards.