Interview with an Editor

Hello! I received some helpful advice from  journalism professional, John Paul McDonall. McDonall is the editor at the Arizona Republic in Phoenix, Arizona. He has been in the journalism business for thirteen years. He graduated from New York University  in 2004 and has had multiple  impressive career choices that have led him to where he is at today. I had the chance to have a phone interview with John Paul over the weekend.

Q1: What is a typical week like?

A1: “The azcentral digital planning job involves editing stories, writing headlines, analyzing metrics and planning coverage and “play” — how stories appear on the website. I lead a team of four homepage producers and work with other editing and reporting teams across the newsroom. Every day is different in this job. Yesterday, for example, I had to schedule out posts to our Facebook page and write up a breaking news story on a fatal shooting in addition to my regular duties. Often this job is just recognizing what needs done and jumping on it”.

Q2: Tell me about a project that you worked on that you are especially proud of.

“There was a Human Rights class at Arizona state and the professor gave them two options for their final project. It was either a research paper or a group project. They had chosen a group project (the group project was a protest). Conservatives went crazy over this. They were outraged that protesting on a college campus about immigrants was considered homework. The professor ended up getting death threats and things got crazy! The Arizona Republic got a chance to debunk the rumors on social media and it was just a really interesting story”.

Q3: What do you want to keep current in the journalism industry?

A3: “I prefer online news. Technology is rapidly changing not only how readers consume news but how we report it. Readers’ shift to mobile from desktop is in full force and gaining every year. Inside the newsroom, we’re being transformed by data-mining tools and analytics”.

Q4: How important is writing in your career?

A4: “Very Important, even though most of the time I am not doing the writing. I had to have great writing skills to be where I am today. Good writing is one of the most important qualities a journalist can have.”

Q5: What three tips would you offer someone just starting out in journalism?

A5: “Be Curious. Be Eager. Read a variety of news outlets every day. Do a variety of internships. Work to improve your writing. Solicit feedback and aggressively monitor improvements made by anyone editing behind you. Don’t wait for someone to tell you to do something. Make yourself indispensable”.

Q6: What internships/jobs have you held related to journalism? Which was most impactful and why?

A6: “In college, I interned with the local newspaper in Terre Haute, with the political campaign of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and with a left-leaning think tank called Demos. (At that point, I was unsure whether I wanted to pursue a career in journalism or politics/issue advocacy.) I’ve held copy-editing jobs at the Villages Daily Sun in Florida; at the Las Vegas Sun and Las Vegas Weekly; and at the Chicago Tribune. Now I’m a digital planning editor with the Arizona Republic and azcentral.  All were impactful in different ways. In Florida, I learned the basics of editing and daily journalism. In Vegas, I practiced big-picture enterprise thinking and writing with flair. In Chicago, I plied my craft at journalism’s highest level and learned from the best. In Arizona, I learned how to lead a team and work across various departments, and how to be a senior-level editor for print and now for digital. To keep moving forward in this business, you can never stop learning”!

Check Out His LinkedIn!

I am all about Music, Marketing, and Public Relations. Personally I have a passion for writing as well. When I was in junior high I thought I would become a journalist, now seven years later I realize that is not for me! I just do not have the ambition to be a journalist!



































Don’t Panic!




5 Steps to help improve Crisis Communication!

We have all dealt with some sort of crisis in our lives, but what happens when the company or person you are representing has a sticky situation? Your favorite blogger is here to help!

I visited a website named Bernstein’s Crisis Management and got some great tips fromJonathan Bernstein!

1.Anticipate Crisis – Brainstorm all of the things that could go wrong before they do! Come up with solutions so you are prepared for the real thing!

2.Have a Trained Spokesperson!– Make sure if you are the one talking to the media and public that you are prepared and have great people skills! Always tell the truth especially in a Crisis!

3. Be Prepared to answer questions!-The more you have planned previous solutions the smoother the Crisis is going to go! Always rehearse what you are going to say!

4. Key Messages- Different forms of media have different ways of sharing information! For each outlet make sure you are using the appropriate formatting so the message gets across better!

5 Did we handle this Correctly- Post Crisis make sure to sit down and ask “Is there anything I could have done better?” And learn from analyzing the situation to help you be more prepared for the next Crisis!

So Don’t Panic! Use this tips to your advantage!









Blog Famous?


We all have a part of us that wants to become famous in one way or another. Some want to be popular artists, singers, actors, or just like the Kardashians (who are famous for absolutely no reason).  I assume the people who are reading this post want to have a killer blog. A blog that is unique, interesting, and gets you a TON of followers.  The question is “Rachel, how do I create something like that”, well I am going to tell you HOW.

Entrepreneur and Online Marketing Expert, Neil Patel gave me some tips off his post : 8 Must- Have Ingredients of a Successful Blog Post,  but of course I added my own personal thoughts to these “ingredients”.

  1. You Need A Point-If there is no point to a blog post then why are you writing it? A blog needs to have some kind of subject or topic. Do not just have meaningless babble.
  2. Images- We all love pictures! If you think a picture is cool it is more than likely you are going to read the content under it.
  3. Structure- A structured layout (Beginning, middle, and end) will make the post more organized and easier to read!
  4. BE UNIQUE- Pretty much don’t be basic. Have posts that are one of a kind. This to me is the what makes a blog FAMOUS!
  5. Length- Make sure your blog doesn’t drag on forever to bore the reader but always have enough length to prove your point!
  6. Linking- Link related posts to your site. Will help the reader explore!
  7. Grammar- Don’t lie you know you will respect a blogger better if that have good grammar.
  8. Call to Action-Have something for the reader to click on to get more information or to a cool video or image.


So now that you know not to be a boring and babbling blogger, do you think you can use this tips to become blog FAMOUS? I think YOU can! Instead of constantly saying “I should start a blog, I think it could be great”. GET SOME MOTIVATION & DO IT! Also if you want to visit Neil’s post here ya go: Link







A Music Obsessed Hot Mess


Welcome to my blog (the most basic opening)! My name is Rachel Clingerman and I am currently a broke, strong-willed, and a hot mess of a college student. I attend Indiana State University and I am majoring in Public Relations and minoring in Marketing. I am going to take my well earned 35,000 dollar degree and go into music PR. Music is my one true love ( I like it better than most people). I am constantly on Spotify or Soundcloud listening to new albums and artists, but also enjoying my favorites. I am not musically talented AT ALL, so that is why I want to work behind the scenes. I want to work for an artist, record label, or venue. My dream would be being the PR rep for a music festival like Coachella. My blog is going to center around reviews of albums, songs, and artists and how I incorporate PR into music. I promise I will try not to bore you and you might get some killer playlists out of this blog.


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