I had the privilege of teaching some excellent design students this past week at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I was impressed with their knowledge of the software. As each year goes by, I find myself teaching software less and less. That’s good.
I was also impressed with their work ethic. Sometimes, high school students whine about having work to do in the summer at workshops. These students didn’t. In fact, they wanted more work. That bodes well for their scholastic programs.
However, this class, like many over the years, suffered from ADD. After they got the stories and photos on the page, they were done. They didn’t take the time to polish, to line things up, to check spelling, to make little changes that make a big difference. Their lack of willingness to polish is indicative of high school and college students today. Good enough is good enough.
But in the real world, that’s not good enough. I hope over the years, their advisers will take the time to help them polish the pages, check spelling, look for inconsistencies in spacing or font choice or rule-line width. Pay attention to the smallest details.
That goes for the photographers who need to work on cropping, color correction and even the proper grammar, spelling punctuation in their captions. That goes for the reporters who need to work on avoiding passive voice and getting a variety of sources in their stories. And that goes for editors who need to develop leadership skills, push their staff members to achieve more and to cover their campus community fairly, accurately and with the richness in diversity it warrants.